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Sydney  Aimitage-Smith's  classic 
oiography  of  John  of  Gaunt,  first 
published  in  1904  and  never 
superae&g,  13  now  re-iajaed. 
''*?.  V"'          '   V 

'Old  John  of  Gaunt',  landlord  of  a 
third  of  England,  claimant  to 
two  thrones,  friend  and  patron  of 
Chaucer,  and  one  of  the  most 
important  figures  of  his  century, 
had  suffered  previously  from 
partial  study.  Aspects  of  his 
personality,  his  influence  in 
particular  spheres— limited 
studies  of  this  kind  have  obscured 
the  towering  nature  of  the  man. 

In  this  book  he  is  portrayed 
full-length;  his  biographer  omits 
nothing  of  the  extraordinary 
vigour  and  scale  of  his  subject's 
life,  and  while  making  no 
compromises  of  scholarship, 
succeeds  in  conveying  vividly  the 
impression  of  a  great  man  against 
the  background  of  his  time. 

The  story  of  John  of  Gaunt  forms 
a  large  part  of  the  history  of 
14th  century  England.  The 
remoteness  of  both  the  period  and 
the  personality  pose  huge 
problems  for  the  just  biographer. 
Sydney  Armitage-Smith's  work 
is  not  undeservedly  a  classic. 
Such  is  its  combination  of  deep 
sympathy  for  the  man,  intricate 
scholarship  and  wide  knowledge 
of  the  14th  century,  that  it 
remains  to  this  day  cfce  standard 
wcil:  )  :i  '  G Una-honoured  Lancaster'. 


•  f  B    !) 


1 1 1990 


(MAI   MAY  15  1984 

MAI     '•:    -'   ' 


1V1AI  NO 

APR  08  1994 


,Armitage -Smith 
John  of  Gaunt, 

Zf'iuic  tjt  tu  Li  ii 



crp     fi  1071 
....,          °^'      "   ';  '{' 








SYDNEY  ARMITAGE-SMITH  Sclul&r  tf  Ntw  College,  Qjc/otd;  Fellow  <y 
University  Collt$et  London 



Publishers  •  Booksellers  •    Since  3:873 

©  Copyright  1964 

Printed  in  Gnat  Britain  by  The  Garden  City  Press  Limited 
Letchworthj  Hertfordshire 

Published  in  the  United  States 

in  1964 

bj  Barnes  &  Noble,  Inc. 
105  Fifth  Avenue,  New  Tork  3 










PREFACE       .........     xix 

INTRODUCTION        ........     xxi 



MARRIAGE  WITH  BLANCHE  OF  LANCASTER  (1340-59)  .         i 


MISSION  TO  FLANDERS  (1359-64)  .  •  •  *6 



OF  CASTILE — NAJERA  (1366-7)          ...         -       33 





GREAT  MARCH — NEGOTIATIONS  AT  BRUGES  (1372-6)          95 



— THE  DUKE'S  REVENGE  (1376)       ,         ,         .         .121 






THE  CITY  (1376)      .......      145 


LANCASTER,  WYCLIFFE  AND  THE  CHURCH         .          .          .160 


DUKE'S  RETIREMENT  (1377) l84 




THUMBERLAND — PERCY'S  APOLOGY  (1378-81)  .  .  230 


PEDITION  APPROVED  (1382-5)  ,  260 

JOHN,  KING  OF  CASTILE  AND  LEON  (1386-9)     ,         .         .301 


(1389-94) 337 


JOHN,  DUKE  OF  AQUITAINE  AND  LANCASTER  (1395).         .     363 





YEARS — DEATH  (1396-9)  .....  390 

Appendix       I.    TESTAMENT  OF  JOHN  OF  GAUNT    .         .     420 

,,  II.    INVASION  OF  SCOTLAND,  AUGUST,  1385 — 

ORDINANCE  OF  DURHAM       .         .     437 

„          III.    RETINUE  OF  JOHN  OF  GAUNT         .         .     440 


THE  DUKE  OF  LANCASTER  (1394-5)    447 

,,  V.    EPITAPH       .        .         .        .        .        .     451 

,,  VI.    COINAGE  OF  JOHN  OF  GAUNT         .         .     452 

„        VII.    ARMS  AND  SEALS  OF  JOHN  OF  GAUNT  .         .  456 


MS.  78) 459 

Index  I.— PERSONS      .......       467 

„    IL— PLACES 481 

Table     I.    THE  HOUSE  OF  LANCASTER 21 


OF  GAUNT  .....     94 

„     III,    CASTILE  AND  LEON .     300 

„      IV,    PORTUGAL  . 308 

,,       V.    THE  BEAUFORTS  ..,,,.....    389 


List   of   Illustrations 

JOHN  OF  GAUNT Frontispiece 

(From  a  Window  in  AH  Souls'  College,  Oxford.) 


(From  British  Museum  Harl,  MS.  4379,  f.  99.) 

JOHN  OF  GAUNT  ,         .         .         .         ,         .         .100 

(From  a  Picture  ascribed  to  Luca  Cornell!,  in  the  possession  of  the 
Puke  of  Beaufort.) 


(From  British  Museum  MS.  14  E.  iv.  1  234.) 

(From  British  Museum,  14  E.  iv.  f.  245.) 

(From  British  Museum  MS.  14  E.  iv.  f.  284.) 

THE  SIEGE  OF  BAYONA          .         .         .         ,         .         -322 
(From  British  Museum  MS.  14  E.  iv.  £.252.) 

THE  JOUSTS  OF  ST.  INGELVERT      .....     344 
(From  British  Museum  MS.  Harl.  4379,  f*  24.) 

SIGNATURE  OF  A  TRUCE         ,..,,,     348 
(From  British  Museum,  Harl,  MS.  4380,  f.  n.) 



(From  British  Museum,  Harl.  MS.  4380,  f.  89.) 

(From  British  Museum,  Harl.  MS.  4380,  f.  141.) 

FOLK      .........     404 

(From  British  Museum,  Harl.  MS.  4380,  f.  148.) 




SPAIN.          To  illustrate  (i)  the  Campaign  of  1367  and  (2)  the 
Campaign  of  1387      To  face  page    46 

FRANCE.      To  illustrate  (i)  the  Campaign  in  Picardy,  1369,  and 
(2)  the  Great  March  of  1 373  , .    To  face  page    106 

ENGLAND.    The  Lancastrian  estates     ..     .,    To  face  page    218 

NOTE. — The  attempt  to  illustrate  fourteenth  century  history 
from  contemporary  sources  is  almost  hopeless.  So  far  as  illumina 
tion  goes,  the  period  was  one  of  decadence,  while  portrait  painting 
in  England  at  least  had  not  begun.  Contemporary  MSS.  have 
scarcely  anything  worth  reproduction.  (See  e.g.  Cotton  Nero, 
D.  vi.  and  the  engravings  from  it  in  Strutt's  Regal  and  Ecclesi 
astical  A  ntiquities^ 

The  face  has  perished  from  the  drawing  of  John  of  Gaunt  which 
formed  part  of  the  fresco  in  St.  Stephen's  Chapel,  Westminster  ; 
the  sepulchral  figure  of  the  Duke  and  the  Duchess  Blanche  in 
St.  Paul's,  which  has  often  been  engraved,  has  no  authority,  for 
it  was  not  placed  in  the  cathedral  until  the  reign  of  Henry  VII. 
It  was  destroyed  in  the  great  fire. 

It  is  not  impossible,  however,  that  the  window  in  All  Souls' 
preserves  some  tradition,  for  the  College  was  founded  only  a 
generation  after  the  Duke's  death,  and  the  glass  dates  from  the 

The  picture  ascribed  to  Luca  Cornelli  is  supposed  to  date  from 
1390.  Internal  evidence  would  place  it  between  1600  and  1650. 
Luca  Cornelli  is  unknown  to  art,  but  if  the  picture  is  a  Jacobean 
forgery  it  is  interesting,  for  the  face  has  character,  and  is  of  the 
true  Plantagenet  type. 

The  two  MSS.  from  which  most  of  the  illustrations  have  been 
taken  are  Harl.  4379  and  4380,  and  14  E,  iv,  Both  are  late 
fifteenth  century.  The  first  is  French,  and  belonged  to  Philip 
de  Commines  ;  the  second  is  of  Flemish  workmanship,  and 
was  executed  for  Edward  IV. 

The  blazons  of  the  English,  French  and  Gascon  lordships  of  the 
Dukes  of  Lancaster  are  to  be  found  brilliantly  illuminated  in  the 
Great  Cowcher  of  the  Duchy  (Carte  Regum,  Vol.  ii.). 

The  Map  of  England  attempts  to  provide  a  rough  index  to  the 
political  influence  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster,  rather  than  a  com 
plete  reconstruction  of  the  Lancastrian  estates. 



As  no  Inquisition  Post  Mortem  appears  to  have  been  held  on 
the  death  of  John  of  Gaunt,  the  material  has  been  compiled 
from  the  Ministers'  A  ccounts  (Duchy  of  Lancaster  :  Nos.  1 1 1  986, 
11,987,  etc*)  read  in  conjunction  with  the  Inquisition  held  in 
A.D.  1361,  and  the  evidence  of  the  Register,  the  great  Cowcher, 
Duchy  of  Lancaster  deeds,  leases,  etc.,  and  the  Patent  Rolls. 

The  shaded  portions  of  the  map  represent  the  manors,  etc., 
in  the  County  of  Lancaster  and  the  four  Yorkshire  Honours, 
which  are  too  numerous  to  be  inserted  in  a  map  of  this  scale. 


Sources   and    Authorities 


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LUCE,  Paris,  1862  (Socict6  de  1'Histoire  de  France)* 

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Paris,  1891  (Societ6  de  I'Histoire  de  France). 
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toirc  de  France). 

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D'ENGLETERRE,  Ed.  B.  WILLIAMS,  London,  1846   (English 

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DE  PIERRE  SALMON,  Ed.  M.  CRAPELET,  Paris,  1883. 

PAIRE,  Rouen,  1870  (Soci6t6  de  Histoire  de  Rouen). 


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Paris,  1885  (Pantheon  Litt^raire). 

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Montpellier,  1840). 



(Bibliotheque  de  1'Ecole  des  Chartes,  vol.  XLVII). 

ROTULI  PARLIAMENTORUM.    (Record  Commission.) 
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FOEDERA      CONVENTIONES      LlTTERAE      ETC,      RYMER,      London, 



VENT  EN  ANGLETERRE,  Ed.  J.  DELPIT,  Pans,  1847. 

ENGLAND,    Ed.   N.    H,    NICOLAS   (Vol.    I    10    Ric.    II— 

II    Henry   IV). 


arum),  Ed.  H.  T.  RILEY,  1859-1862. 


London,  1868. 
THE    SCROPE    AND     GROSVENOR    CONTROVERSY,    Ed.    N.    H. 

NICOLAS,  1832. 

LETTERS  OF  ROYAL  LADIES,  M.  A.  E.  WOOD,  London,  1846. 

J.  NICHOLS,  London,  1780. 
THE   EXCHEQUER   ROLLS   OF  SCOTLAND  (Vol.  Ill,   A.D.    1379- 

1406),  Ed.  GEORGE  BURNETT,  1880. 

the  Public  Record  Office  (Vol.  IV,  1357-1509);  Ed.  J.  BAIN 
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PETITIONS  TO  THE  POPE,  Vol.  I — 1342-1419,  Ed.  W.  H. 

BLISS  and  C.  JOHNSON,  and  J.  A.  TWEMLOW. 

ZARAGOZA.     1610. 


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ANTONIO  CAETANO  DE  SOUSA,  Lisbon,  1735-49- 

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EDWARD  III:  1340-1345. 

RICHARD  II:  i377~I3c)2- 

T.  CARTE.    London,  1743. 

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Pell  Records.    Ed.  F.  DEVON. 


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1'Histoire  de  France.) 

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(Collection  de  Documents  Mdits  sur  I'Histoire  de  France.) 

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(Paris,  1750-56)—- (Pidces  Justicatives). 

PALATINE  OF  LANCASTER.  First  to  Twelfth  Year  of  the 
Regality  of  Duke  John  (A.D.  1377-1389).  Record  Report 
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the  Fifth  to  the  Eleventh  Year  of  the  Regality  of  Duke 
John  (A.D.  1381-1387).  Record  Report  XL,  Ap.  No.  4. 

CALENDAR  OF  PRIVY  SEALS.   Record  Report  XLIII,  Ap,  No,  (3). 

London,  1845. 

DUCHY  OF  LANCASTER.  Calendar  of  Royal  Charters,  William 
II— Richard  II.  Record  Report  XXXI,  Ap.  No.  i. 



DUCHY  OF  LANCASTER.    Calendar  of  Ancient  Charters  or  Grants. 

Record    Report    XXXV,     Ap.    No.   i,  and  XXXVI,  Ap. 

No.  2, 

in  the  Public  Record  Office,  1894  and  1897. 

LANCASTER.    (Public  Record  Office): — 
Part  I.     Edward  III. 
Part  II.     Richard  II. 

Receiver  General  Mich.   n76-Mich.  1377.    (Bundle 

III.  No.  I.). 
Receiver  General  2  Feb.,  1392— 2  Feb.,  1393.  (Bundle 

III.  No.  2). 
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XXXII.  No,  21). 
Receiver  for  Sussex  (1393-1396).     (Bundle  XXXII* 

No.  22). 

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FOREIGN  ACCOUNTS.     Exchequer    Accounts ;    Transcripts  from 

Foreign  Archives,  etc.    (Public  Record  Office.) 
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Oxford,  1894. 


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III,    Ed.  T.  WRIGHT,    Rolls  Series. 


Oxford,  1897. 

Cambridge,  1898. 


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HISTOIRE  DE  FRANCE.    Ed.  E.  LAVISSB,  Paris,  1902. 



LES  ANGLAIS  EN  GUYENNE.    D.  BRISSAUD,  Paris,  1875. 

FRANCISQUE-MICHEL,  Bordeaux,   1867, 
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AN  attempt  has  been  made  elsewhere  to  acknowledge 
the  debt  which  this  book  owes  to  published 
authorities ;  it  is  a  pleasant  duty  to  express  also  my 
obligations  to  those  who  during  the  past  three  years 
have  given  me  help  and  advice. 

All  who  venture  into  the  field  of  military  history,  es 
pecially  that  of  the  Middle  Ages,  must  be  sensible  of 
the  debt  which  they  owe  to  Professor  Oman's  History 
of  the  Art  of  War;  my  own  debt  is  more  considerable, 
for  I  have  also  had  the  advantage  of  Professor  Oman's 
ad  vice  in  dealing  with  the  French  and  Spanish  campaigns. 

I  have  to  thank  Professor  Arthur  Platt  for  his  kindness 
in  undertaking  the  laborious  task  of  reading  the  proof- 
sheets,  and  for  much  valuable  criticism.  To  Mr.  Hubert 
Hall,  of  the  Public  Record  Office,  I  am  under  no  ordinary 
obligations,  Not  only  has  Mr.  Hall  placed  his  knowledge 
of  mediaeval  records  and  the  mediaeval  economy  most 
freely  at  my  disposal,  but  he  has  contributed  many  valu* 
able  suggestions.  It  is  impossible  for  me  to  express  in  detail 
all  my  indebtedness  to  him,  but  in  particular  I  must 
thank  him  for  a  transcriptof  the  Account  of  the  Receiver- 
General  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster,  and  for  a  collation  of  the 
fragment  of  genealogical  history  printed  in  the  Appendix. 

My  thanks  are  also  due  to  Mr.  Oswald  Barron,whohas 
generously  allowed  me  to  avail  myself  of  his  genealogical 
knowledge  ;  to  Mr.  Giuseppe,  of  the  Public  Record  Office, 
for  guidance  among  the  records  of  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster, 
and  to  Mr,  Herbert,  of  the  Department  of  Manuscripts 
of  the  British  Museum,  for  similar  help  in  that  depart 



The  Appendix  on  the  Lancastrian  coinage  owes  several 
suggestions  to  Mr.  Grueber,  Assistant-Keeper  of  Coins  and 
Medals  at  the  British  Museum, 

Finally,  I  have  to  thank  the  Duke  of  Beaufort  for 
permission  to  reproduce  the  picture  of  John  of  Gaunt 
in  his  possession  ;  the  Society  of  Antiquaries  and  their 
Assistant  Secretary,  Mr.  St.  John  Hope,  for  lending  me 
a  cast  of  the  Great  Seal  of  Castile,  and  the  Duke  of  Nor 
thumberland  for  his  courtesy  in  placing  at  my  disposal 
the  manuscript  in  the  Library  of  Alnwick  Castle,  an 
extract  from  which  is  printed  in  the  Appendix. 

I  regret  that  it  is  impossible  to  print  a  very  full  itinerary 
which  I  have  made  out  of  the  movements  of  John  of 
Gaunt,  a  valuable  corrective  to  the  inaccuracies  of  the 
Chronicles,  but  this  I  hope  to  publish  separately. 

S,  A.-S. 

London,  1904, 



John  Gaunt,  time-honoured  Lancaster." 
What  name  on  the  roll  of  English  princes  is 
more  familiar  ?  What  actor  in  the  great  drama  of 
English  history  has  been  watched  with  less  attention  ? 

Two  striking  episodes  in  the  Duke's  history  have 
been  related  again  and  again,  and  from  all  points  of  view. 
The  defence  of  John  Wycliffe  and  the  attack  oil  Sir  Peter 
de  la  Mare  and  William  of  Wykeham — these  are  the  loci 
communes  of  the  history  of  the  Church  and  of  the  Con 
stitution.  But  for  the  rest,  the  Duke  makes  his  exits  and 
his  entrances,  but  it  is  upon  the  other  players  in  the  piece 
that  the  audience  fix  their  attention. 

His  strong  and  persistent  craving  for  continental 
royalty,  the  keynote  to  his  character,  has  been  strangely 
neglected.  The  man  has  never  yet  lived  and  moved 
among  the  historic  figures  of  his  age  or  nation*  "Old 
John  of  Gaunt,  and  gaunt  in  being  old : "  the  words  have 
fixed  in  our  minds  the  idea  of  a  feudal  magnate,  the  vener 
able  uncle  of  a  young  and  spendthrift  king,  but  with 
Richard  II,  who  asks  "  Can  sick  men  play  so  nicely  with 
their  names  ?  "  we  do  not  listen*  but  go  on  our  way  and 
leave  him, 

Yet,  however  inadequately  conceived,  the  figure  of  John 
of  Gaunt,  which  filled  so  large  a  place  in  the  story  of  his 
times,  has  appealed  to  our  imagination.  Though  the 
man  is  almost  a  stranger  to  us,  his  name  is  a  household 



word.  Traces  of  his  doings  are  met  with  on  every  side, 
for  he  seems  to  have  been  everywhere  and  to  have 
attempted  everything. 

Long  ago  the  last  traces  have  disappeared  of  that 
magnificent  building  which  once  fronted  the  Thames 
between  the  Tower  and  the  Palace  of  Westminster  ;  yet 
to  whom  does  riot  the  name  of  the  Savoy  recall  John 
of  Gaunt  and  the  stately  palace,  where  Jean  le  Bon  spent 
his  last  days  of  exile,  arid  where  Geoffrey  Chaucer  listened 
to  the  "  goodly  softe  speche  "  of  Blanche  the  Duchess  ? 

Abroad,  too,  his  name  is  not  forgotten.  In  Ghent  the 
Abbey  of  St.  Bavon  and  the  Chateau  des  Comtes 
still  dispute  the  honour  of  ranking  as  his  birthplace, 
and  Gantois  cicerones  and  English  guide  books  keep  up 
the  quarrel. 

In  Bordeaux  some  old  stone  carving  still  displays  the 
leopards  of  England  quartering  the  lilies  of  France  with 
the  familiar  label  of  three  points  ermine,  and  in  the  Abbey 
of  Batalha  the  Duke's  exploits  are  recorded  on  the  tomb 
of  his  daughter,  a  Queen  of  Portugal. 

Kenilworth,  with  its  Lancaster  tower,  and  the  ruins  of 
a  score  of  castles  proclaim  the  lavish  hand  of  the  builder 
and  the  power  of  the  great  feudatory.  The  Duchy  of 
Lancaster  is  still  a  fact,  and  the  Sovereign  still  bears  the 
title  of  his  far-off  ancestor  of  the  fourteenth  century. 

Yet  the  man  whose  territorial  power  stretched  over 
a  third  of  England,  who  in  a  sense  may  be  said  to  have 
created  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster  and  founded  the  Portu 
guese  Alliance,  who  was  for  fifteen  years  the  titular  King 
of  Castile  and  Leon,  and  for  a  dozen  years  the  uncrowned 
King  of  England,  still  moves  through  the  realm  of  history 
in  a  region  of  half-lights  and  hazy  outlines.  For  a 
moment,  as  he  comes  within  their  range,  the  military  or 
constitutional  historians  turn  their  modern  searchlight 
upon  him.  It  is  only  for  a  moment ;  again  he  is  lost  to 
sight.  Now  and  then  some  enterprising  essayist  tries 



to  penetrate  the  darkness,  only  to  bring  back  anything 
but  a  reassuring  report.  We  content  ourselves  with  ill- 
defined  notions  both  of  grandeur  and  of  wickedness.  We 
acquiesce  in  unexplained  contradictions,  and  are  willing 
to  accept  the  friend  of  Chaucer  and  the  patron  of  letters 
as  the  enemy  of  the  Church ;  the  favourite  son  of  Edward 
III  and  the  favourite  brother  of  the  Black  Prince,  as 
the  "  wicked  uncle  "  of  Richard  II.  The  "  illustrious 
prince  "  of  one  writer  is  the  u  unscrupulous  villain  "  of 
a  second  ;  historians  of  the  Constitution,  of  the  Church, 
of  warfare,  and  of  letters— each  tell  a  different  tale. 

From  tliis  unmerited  obscurity  an  attempt,  however 
inadequate,  has  now  been  made  to  rescue  him. 

Of  short  notices  in  works  of  reference  there  is  an 
abundance.  Sir  E,  Maunde  Thompson  has  a  long  article 
in  the  Dictionary  of  National  Biography,  and  writers 
like  Belts  (Memorials  of  the  Order  of  the  Garter)  and 
Raines  (History  of  the  Duchy  and  County  Palatine  of 
Lancaster}  review  the  more  obvious  and  accessible  facts 
of  his  life.  The  indefatigable  Dugdale  has  compiled  a  list, 
incomplete  it  is  true,  of  his  estates  ;  and  of  those  who  have 
transcribed  from  Dugdale  the  name  is  legion,  but  the 
Duke  has  never  been  accorded  the  distinction  of  a 
separate  biography. 

So  far  as  the  author  is  aware  (and  one  cannot  be  wiser 
than  the  Catalogue  of  the  British  Museum),  there  is  no 
extant  biography  of  John  of  Gaunt  in  English,  French, 
German,  Spanish,  or  Portuguese. 

In  1740  Arthur  Collins  appended  an  account  of  John 
of  Gaunt  to  his  Life  of  the  Black  Prince.  It  runs  to  some 
ninety  pages  of  small  octavo,  the  substance  of  which  is 
for  the  most  part  an  unacknowledged  loan  from  Dugdale. 

In  1803  William  Godwin  tacked  on  to  his  account  of 
Chaucer's  life  and  works  "  Memoirs  of  his  near  friend 
and  kinsman,  John  of  Gaunt  Duke  of  Lancaster."  The 
kinship  to  Chaucer  is  one  of  the  least  questionable  of 



Godwin's  facts,  which  by  the  way  are  based  on  the 
supposition  that  every  writing  of  the  poet  must  turn 
on  some  fact  of  his  patron's  life,  the  Chaucerian  canon 
itself  being  enough  to  make  a  Chaucerian  scholar  shudder. 

To  Godwin  John  of  Gaunt  is  everything  that  is  good 
and  great :  the  result  is  an  uncritical  eulogy,  a  lay  figure 
of  a  fourteenth-century  Maecenas. 

From  the  first  the  Portuguese  writers  have  shown  a 
vivid  interest  in  the  exploits  of  the  ally  of  Dom  Jo&o  of 
good  memory,  but  to  take  a  modern  example,  the  Count 
of  Villa  Franca,  in  Joao  /,  e  a  Allianf  Inglese,  succeeds 
rather  in  evidencing  than  stimulating  that  interest,  and 
the  student  is  grateful  to  him  chiefly  for  acting  as  a  guide 
to  the  original  sources. 

The  attempt,  therefore,  to  present  a  connected  account 
of  the  acts  of  a  great  historical  figure,  to  analyze  his 
admitted  ambition  and  to  gauge  his  character,  is  justified 
by  the  silence  of  others ;  of  the  difficulties  inherent  in 
the  task  no  one  is  more  conscious  than  the  author  of 
these  pages, 

For  better  or  for  worse,  Lancaster's  name  is  connected 
with  nearly  every  event  and  nearly  every  actor  on  one 
of  the  most  interesting  scenes  of  history.  Within  his  life 
time  (1340  to  1399)  fall  the  first  half  of  the  Hundred 
Years  War,  the  beginnings  of  the  new  economic  system 
in  England,  the  new  literature^  aadLtbg  early  Reforma 
tion.  Tfre  Duke"  crosses  swords  with  du  Guesclin;  Sir 
John  Chandos  is  his  friend ;  Sir  Hugh  Calverly  fights  under 
his  banner,  and  Sir  Robert  Knolles  is  of  his  retinue.  The 
unsuccessful  general  of  the  Hundred  Years'  War  is  the 
victim  marked  out  for  slaughter  by  the  peasants  in  1381 ; 
the  friend  of  Chaucer  is  the  patron  of  Wycliffe.  The  story 
of  Tiis*T3eTakes  us  from  "the  Painted  CEamber  at  West 
minster  to  the  Municipal  Council  hall  of  Bordeaux ; 
from  the  Savoy  to  Holyrood,  to  Malmaison,  to  the  cathe 
drals  of  St.  James  of  Compostella  and  of  Burgos ;  from 



the  battlefields  of  France  and  Aquitaine  to  those  of 
Castile ;  from  the  struggle  of  Valois  and  Plantagenet  to 
the  death  feud  of  the  brothers  Pedro  the  Cruel  and  Henry 
of  Trastamare. 

In  all  this  the  Duke,  if  a  fascinating  leader,  is  a  dan 
gerous  guide.  His  biographer  is  led  insensibly  to  preci 
pice  after  precipice.  He  has  to  avoid  the  desperate 
suggestion  of  casting  himself  headlong  into  the  abyss  of 
the  Hundred  Years  War,  the  early  Reformation,  the 
early  Renaissance,  or  the  County  Palatine  of  Lancaster. 

He  must  fix  his  eye  upon  one  figure :  the  hero,  or  it  may 
be,  the  villain  of  the  piece.  He  must  neglect  all  issues, 
however  important,  not  his  own.  No  underplot,  however 
tempting,  must  disturb  the  unity  of  the  story  which  tells 
of  the  ambitions  of  the  protagonist  and  the  events  to 
which  they  led. 

If  the  study  of  institutions  is  more  important  than  the 
sludy  of  the  lives  of  men  and  women,  the  large  canvas 
a  nobler  work  than  the  portrait  or  the  cameo,  the  task 
of  portraying  personality  has  its  own  peculiar  difficulties. 

Foremost  among  these  difficulties  comes  one  peculiar 
to  the  period.  For  the  riddle  of  personal  character  in 
the  whole  Middle  Age  is  harder  to  guess  than  in  any  other. 
That  age  falls  on  the  other  side  of  the  great  dividing  line 
drawn  by  that  strange  re-awakening,  that  re-disco  very  by 
man  of  himself  and  his  place  in  the  universe,  which  is 
summed  up  in  the  word  Renaissance.  "AlteFIEai  epoch 
history  has  to  deal  with  ineii  and  women ;  before,  with 
children,  children  who  with  little  of  the  simplicity  have 
much  of  the  naiveii  and  incomprehensibility  of  childhood* 
The  ages  of  faith  and  the  ages  of  chivalry  have  passed 
away,  and  the  seamless  robe  is  rent.  Between  the 
modern  and  the  Middle  Age  a  great  gulf  is  fixed. 
Therefore  aU  estimates  of  character  must  be  subject 
to  doubt,  and  must  be  put  forward  with  becoming 
diffidence.  Dogmatism  and  easy  assurance  are  less 



appropriate  and  less  convincing  than  suggestion  or  at 
best  a  hesitating  judgment.  To  these  general  considera 
tions,  true  of  the  whole  age,  must  be  added  one  true  of 
the  particular  period. 

More  perhaps  than  at  any  other  time  in  English  history 
our  judgment  of  individuals  must  depend  on  the  un 
ravelling  of  a  complex  of  intrigues,  personal  and  political, 
which  come  down  to  us  chronicled  by  men  who  united 
the  passions  of  the  partisan  with  the  credulity  of  an  age 
scorning  evidence,  greedy  of  the  miraculous,  ever  ready 
to  hear  the  devil  speak  with  human  voice,  or  to  see  blood 
flow  at  the  tomb  of  a  political  martyr.  Subject  to 
these  qualifications,  the  evidence  both  of  the  chronicles 
and  of  more  formal  documents  is  abundant  and  rich. 
There  are  those  who  record  hearsay  in  the  cloister,  but 
there  are  also  eye-witnesses  and  men  of  the  world. 

Froissart  must  have  seen  John  of  Gaunt  and  talked 
with"  him  again  and  again*  Ayala — courtier,  soldier, 
statesman,  and  chronicler — met  him  in  the  field  of  battle 
and  in  the  warfare  of  diplomacy ;  the  Portuguese  chroniclers, 
biassed  doubtless  in  favour  of  the  father  of  Queen  Philippa 
and  the  father-in-law  of  the  Master  of  Avis,  the  hero  of 
national  independence,  have  preserved  in  detail  the 
record  of  his  deeds  in  the  great  invasion,  and,  strangely 
enough,  the  only  extant  description  of  his  appearance. 
After  the  men  of  affairs  and  men  of  letters  come  a  mob 
of  gentlemen  who  write  with  more  or  less  of  ease  and 
more  or  less  of  prejudice  :  Henry  Knight  on  and  the  name 
less  continuator  of  his  chronicle,  who,  living  in  the 
shadow  of  the  Lancastrian  foundation  at  Leicester, 
testify  to  the  Duke's  piety ;  the  unknown  monk  of 
St.  Albans,  who  testifies  to  his  wickedness  ;  Adam  of  Usk, 
hard-headed  lawyer  and  impartial  critic,  who  sat  in  the 
reporters'  gallery  when  the  Duke  as  High  Seneschal  of 
England  passed  sentence  on  the  conspirators  of  1397 ; 
Chandos  Herald,  not  altogether  free  from  a  herald's 



failings,  who  extols  his  prowess ;  and  a  score  of  others, 
some  with  names,  more  without,  a  few  interesting,  the 
majority  dull,  but  all  having  some  fact  to  add  to  the  story, 
some  comment  to  show  how  the  man  appeared  to  those 
of  his  day. 

Of  formal  evidence  the  amount  is  overwhelming.  The 
Rolls  of  Parliament  have  of  course  long  since  been  ex 
plored,  though  even  here  patient  research  can  gather 
up  crumbs  that  have  fallen  from  the  table.1  For  other 
sources  similar  in  nature  the  student  feels  gratitude, 
tempered  with  despair.  The  records  of  the  Duchy  and 
County  Palatine  of  Lancaster  are  almost  inexhaustible, 
and  suggest  tempting  lines  of  inquiry  at  every  turn. 
Series  like  the  Collection  de  documents  inedits  sur  Phis- 
toire  de  Prance,  M.  Delpit's  Collection  des  documents 
frangais  qui  se  trouvent  en  Angleterre,  and  the  municipal 
records  of  Bordeaux — a  monument  of  civic  patriotism — 
are  invaluable  sources  for  the  life  of  John  of  Gaunt. 
Often  formal  evidence  succeeds  where  the  professed 
chronicles  are  disappointingly  inadequate.  Froissart, 
with  all  his  brilliance  and  charm,  too  often  puts  into  the 
mouth  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  set  speeches  which  would 
fit  the  Duke  of  Burgundy  or  the  Count  of  Foix  as  well. 
Instead  of  the  man,  he  gives  us  the  type.  Where  Froissart 
fails,  Walsingham  is  intolerable.  Better  the  unmeasured 
abuse  of  the  <4 scandalous  chronicle"  than  Knighton's  con 
ventionality,  It  is  from  this  curse  of  conventionality, 
as  also  from  the  barriers  of  prejudice,  that  formal  evidence 
sets  us  free. 

The  Calendars  of  Papal  Petitions  and  Papal  Letters  do 
far  more  than  the  Fasciculi  Zizaniorwn  to  explain  the 
Duke's  attitude  to  the  early  Reformation  ;  with  the 
Lime  dcs  Bouillons  in  our  hands  we  can  watch  the  Duke 
fencing  with  the  obstinate  champions  of  municipal 
privilege  and  feudal  independence ;  the  official  records 
x$ee  Ch,  xi,  pp.  257-8. 



of  the  township  of  Bergerac  show  us  the  mayor  and 
£chevins  listening  to  news  of  their  seigneur  far  away  in 
Kenilworth  or  Pontefract ;  the  cartularies  of  Troyes 
conjure  up  the  injured  Abbot  of  "  Chapelle  aux  Planches  " 
fixing  to  the  doors  of  his  houses  the  arms  of  the  Duke  of 
Lancaster  and  Lord  of  Beaufort  and  Nogent ;  the  Register 
furnishes  a  picture  of  the  daily  life  of  the  Duke  and  his 
stately  household  ;  we  watch  his  servants  bearing  gifts  of 
firewood  to  the  poor  lazars  of  Leicester,  or  carrying  gifts 
of  wine  to  the  prisoners  of  Newgate. 

The  type  of  the  grand  seigneur,  the  lay  figure,  warms 
into  life  and  becomes  the  man  of  flesh  and  blood. 

This  man,  who  to  the  constitutional  historian  is  only 
important  as  the  persistent  enemy  of  constitutional  pro 
gress,  and  the  author  of  the  circumstances  which  produced 
a  change  of  dynasty,  has  his  faults— they  are  many  and 
conspicuous— and  also  his  virtues.  We  must  not  look 
for  any  one  great  and  good.  The  age  is  not  an  heroic 
age ;  it  is  one  of  decadence.  The  man  is  not  a  hero. 
But  he  is  prdfduhdTjTmteresting.  The  great  feudatory 
with  princely  wealth  and  an  imposing  retinue,  appears  now 
as  the  patron  of  letters,  now  as  a  knight  errant  in  search 
of  adventures,  now  as  a  general,  usually  unfortunate, 
now  as  the  pretender  aspiring  to  a  throne.  Military 
fame  eludes  him ;  the  laurels  of  victory  wither  at  his 
touch.  Royal  dignity  escapes  him;  the  crown  and 
sceptre  are  beyond  his  reach.  He  stands  by  the  steps  of  | 
two  thrones ;  he  cannot  mount  to  either. 

But  judged  by  the  standard  of  the  time,  the  life  is 
not  altogether  in  vain.  The  roll  of  dignities  and  honours 
is  long.  Passion,  whether  of  ambition  or  of  love,  claims 
its  due.  He  enjoys  great  power,  and  he  has  enough  of 
fighting  and  adventure  to  satisfy  the  cravings  of  one 
born  in  the  age  of  chivalry. 


Chapter  I 


NEAR  the  Antwerp  gate  of  Ghent,  at  the  meeting 
place  of  the  Lys  and  Scheldt,  lie  the  ruins  of  the 
Abbey  of  St.  Bavon. 

Little  but  the  cloisters  and  the  baptistery  now  re 
mains  of  the  famous  Abbey  founded  by  Saint  Amand, 
once  one  of  the  chief  seats  of  Flemish  learning,  where 
Eginhardt  had  found  a  home,  and  the  bones  of  the 
sainted  Pharailde  had  been  laid  to  rest. 

For  in  1540,  to  punish  the  rebellious  city  of  his  birth, 
Charles  V  ordered  the  destruction  of  certain  ancient 
gates,  towers  and  walls  no  longer  needed,  and  those  of 
the  Abbey  were  among  the  number  condemned.  The 
canons  removed  their  reliquaries  to  the  Cathedral, 
henceforth  to  be  known  by  the  name  of  St.  Bavon,  and 
the  walls  of  the  Abbey  were  thrown  down  to  build  a 
castle  which  should  overawe  the  turbulent  subjects  of  the 

But  in  the  fourteenth  century  the  Abbey  was  a  rich 
foundation  enclosing  a  large  area  within  its  precincts. 
At  the  beginning  of  1340  there  was  unusual  stir 
within  its  walls,  for  the  ancient  seat  of  Flemish  learning 
was  for  the  moment  the  scene  of  a  Court,  and  the  monks 

1  Kervyn  de  Volkaersbeke,  Las  Eglises  de  Gand,  (Ghent, 



of  St.  Bavon  were  the  hosts  of  Edward  III  of  England 
and  his  Queen  Philippa  of  Hainault,1 

The  Hundred  Years  War  had  begun,  and  King  Ed 
ward,  to  quiet  the  conscience  of  his  Flemish  allies,  had 
just  assumed  the  royal  style  of  France2  and  ridden  into 
Gh^nt  with  the  lilies  of  France  quartered  on  his  shield 
with  the  English  leopards.3  For  in  January  a  great 
Parliament  was  held  in  Ghent ;  Holland,  Brabant,  and 
the  three  great  cities  of  Flanders  had  been  leagued 
together  in  alliance  with  England  against  Louis  Count 
of  Flanders,  and  his  suzerain,  Philip  of  Valois.* 

The  alliance  was  signed  at  St.  Bavon,  and  the  triumph 
of  Artevelde's  policy  seemed  complete,  the  commercial 
union  of  England  and  Flanders  cemented  by  the 
strongest  of  political  ties,  when  in  the  great  piazza  of 
the  city,  the  March6  du  Vendredi,  the  Flemings  did 
homage  to  their  new  suzerain,  and  swore  to  obey 
Edward  III  as  King  of  France.  This  was  the  prelude 
to  the  campaign  which  was  to  open  in  the  spring,  and 
Edward  returned  to  England  to  prepare. 

Leaving  the  Queen  and  her  little  son  Lionel,  born  at 
Antwerp  the  year  before,  to  the  protection  of  St.  Bavon 
and  his  new  subjects,  the  King  left  Flanders  on  Feb 
ruary  20.5  In  March  his  fourth  son,  John,  was  born,6 

1  Ende  Edewaert,  des  seken  sijt, 
Sijn  wijf  ende  sine  kindere  mede, 
Bleuen  te  Ghend  in  de  stede 
Tsente  Baefs  int  cloester  geloi'ert. 
— Reimchronik  von  Flandern,  vol.  i.  i,    8224-7, 
(Ed.  E.  Kausler,  Tubigen,  1840.) 

2  Istore  et  Chroniques  de  Flandres >  I,  572. 

3  SceEdouard  III,  Roi  d'Angletewe  en  Belgique,  translation  of 
the  rhymed  chronicle  of  Jean  de  Klerk,  by  Octave  Delepierre, 
(Ghent,  1841.)  * 

*  De  Smet,  Collection  de  Chromques  Beiges  Inedites>  III.  151. 

5  See  King  Edward's  Itinerary  in  M.  Lemoine's  Appendix  to 
his  edition  of  Richard  Lescot. 

6  Mense   Martii ;    Murimuth,   93;    Chr.  Angl.    11.  Wals.  I, 


With  a  strange  persistence,  the  name  of  his  birthplace 
has  clung  to  John  Plantagenet  from  the  first.  Lionel 
"  of  Antwerp  "  is  more  familiar  as  Earl  of  Ulster,  or  as 
Duke  of  Clarence,  but  for  his  younger  brother  posterity 
has  chosen  to  prefer,  to  an  abundance  of  territorial  titles, 
the  name  of  the  town  known  to  English  ears  as  "  Gaunt," 
and  John  of  Lancaster  is  John  of  Gaunt. 

The  little  child  born  at  St.  Bavon  in  March  was  an 
early,  if  unconscious,  witness  of  his  father's  democratic 
alliance  inaugurated  a  few  weeks  earlier,  for  he  was  held 
at  the  font  by  James  van  Artevelde,  nor  did  the  burgesses 
of  Ghent  forget  that  their  leader  had  been  god-father  to 
an  English  prince.1 

The  King  remained  in  England  until  June.  The  day 
after  he  left,  St.  John  the  Baptist's  Day,  he  won  a  battle 
memorable  in  the  annals  of  the  English  navy,  the  crush 
ing  victory  of  Sluys,  which  destroyed  the  French  mari 
time  power,  and  gave  England  the  command  of  the 
Channel  for  many  years.  Flushed  with  his  triumph 
over  the  French  and  Genoese  admirals,  Edward  rode  to 
Ghent  to  greet  the  Queen  and  the  son  who  had  been  born 
to  him  in  his  absence. 

The  Queen  and  her  children  remained  at  Ghent  during 
the  short  campaign  of  the  summer,  which  ended  at  the 
siege  of  Tournai,  a  campaign  without  a  battle,  for  the 
French  and  English  armies,  after  facing  each  other  out 
side  Tournai,  made  terms.  King  Robert  of  Naples  had 
dreamed  dreams  and  warned  his  cousin  of  France  never 

1  [Regina]  peperit  filium,  quern  Jacobus  de  Artevella  de 
sacro  fonte  levans,  compater  factus  est  regi  Angliae.  Chr. 
Reg.  Franc.  93,  Cf.  Istore  et  Chroniques  de  Flandres^  I,  574. 
Is  this  what  Walsingham  means  when  he  says  of  Artevelde — 
Qui  quondam  consanguineus  exstitit  Anglorum  Reginae  Philip- 
pae  ?  (II,  61),  Froissart  says  that  John  of  Brabant  was  his 
godfather,  and  that  the  name  John  was  given  to  him  as  a  com 
pliment  to  his  sponsor.  (K,  de  L.  Ill,  p.  207).  Froissart  also 
wrongly  gives  as  his  birthplace  the  Abbey  of  St.  Peter  at  Ghent. 
K.  de  L.  XVII,  78. 



to  engage  an  English  army  led  by  the  King  in  person. 
Prophecy  and  policy  for  the  moment  agreed,  and  when 
Jeanne  de  Valois  came  from  the  cloister  to  make  peace 
between  her  brother  and  her  cousin,  she  succeeded.  In 
September  the  truce  of  Esplechin  postponed  the  struggle 
until  June,  1343;,  and  in  November  the  King  and  Queen 
and  the  little  Princes  Lionel  and  John  returned  to  Eng 

A  courtly  writer  of  the  seventeenth  century  assures 
us  that  Queen  Philippa's  fourth  child  was  "a  lovely  and 
lively  boy."  *  Probably  Philippa  thought  so,  but  it  is 
safer  to  imitate  the  not  unnatural  silence  of  contem 
porary  chroniclers,  who  had  not  yet  learned  to  fix  their 
attention  on  the  King's  fourth  son.  Isolda  Newman, 
his  nurse,2  has  left  no  reminiscences  of  the  childhood  of 
the  great  Duke  of  Lancaster,  and  curiosity  must  await 
his  first  appearance  on  the  stage  of  public  life.  Im 
patience  is  soon  set  at  rest,  for  it  was  not  long  before 
Edward  III  took  the  first  step  towards  the  family  settle 
ment  completed  twenty  years  later.  In  1341  the  King 
declared  his  intention  of  marrying  Lionel,  when  of  age, 
to  Elizabeth  de  Burgh,  daughter  and  heir  of  the  Earl 
of  Ulster.3  Meanwhile,  the  English  lands  of  John  de 
Montfort,  late  Duke  of  Brittany  and  Earl  of  Richmond, 
were  assigned  for  the  maintenance  of  Bionel  and  John, 
and  the  King's  daughters,  Isabella  and  Joan,  under  the 
guardianship  of  the  Queen.* 

In  1342  John  of  Gaunt,  only  in  his  third  year,  was 
granted  the  Earldom  of  Richmond  in  tail,  and  was  duly 
invested  with  the  "girding  of  the  sword."  During  his 

1  Barnes,  History  of  Edward  I/I,  158. 

2  Annuity  of  £10  to  Isolda  Newman,  nurse  of  the  King's  son, 
John  of  Gaunt,  February  22,  1346.    Froissart,   K.  de  L.  XXII, 
32,  note. 

2  Foed,  V,  247-8,  dated  May  $,  1341. 

*  Foed,  V.  249,  dated  May  19,  1341 ;  Rot.  Pat.t  May  25,  1341, 
and  June  25  (15  Edward  III,  pp.  197  and  236,  and  17  Edward 
III,  p.  42). 



minority  the  Queen  was  made  his  guardian.1  Henceforth 
John  of  Gaunt  bears  the  title  Earl  of  Richmond  until 
his  alliance  with  the  House  of  Lancaster  brought  him 
an  ampler  patrimony  and  a  more  famous  name. 

His  youth  falls  in  the  first  period,  the  heroic  age  of 
the  Hundred  Years  War.  A  child  of  six  when  Prince 
Edward  won  his  spurs  at  Cr6cy,  his  earliest  memories 
must  have  been  those  of  the  great  victories  which  filled 
men's  minds.  1347  saw  the  defeat  of  the  Scots  at  N  evil's 
Cross,  King  David  a  prisoner,  the  fall  of  Calais,  and 
England  holding  "  the  keys  of  France."  Then,  after  the 
victories  which  were  quickening  the  people  with  a  newly 
awakened  sense  of  national  life,  came  the  Black  Death. 
The  age  is  one  of  sharply  defined  contrasts ;  the  bright 
est  lights  and  the  darkest  shadows  meet  and  touch  on 
the  canvas.  Between  Cr£cy  and  Poictiers  the  Great 
Plague  swept  over  England,  decimating  the  people. 

Coming  from  the  East — fruitful  soil  of  disease  and 
teeming  populations — it  had  reached  Italy  in  1348,  where 
Boccaccio  raised  to  it  a  monument  of  graceful  egoism 
and  refined  callousness  in  the  Decameron.  Traversing 
Germany  and  France,  it  provoked  an  outburst  of 
gloomy  mysticism,  to  which  expression  was  given  by  the 

If  the  faint  recollections  of  childhood  had  any  place 
in  the  thoughts  of  the  grown  man,  these  things  formed 
their  subject:  wars  and  rumours  of  wars,  plague, 
pestilence,  and  famine.  But  childhood  did  not  last 
long.  If  life  ended  sooner  in  the  fourteenth  century  than 
in  later  times,  at  least  the  business  of  life  began  earlier. 

At  eighteen  Edward  had  avenged  his  father,  over 
thrown  the  power  of  Mortimer  and  Isabella,  and  begun 

1  Feed,  V.  348.  The  grant  is  dated  November  20,  1342,  and 
was  confirmed  March  6,  1351.  The  Earldom  had  been  granted 
September  24,  1341,  to  John  de  Montfort  as  a  reward  for  his 
attachment  to  the  English  cause  (Ibid.V.  280;  299-300), 



to  rule.  At  fourteen  his  son  had  commanded  at  Cr6cy. 
John  of  Gaunt  saw  his  first  battle  at  the  age  of  ten.  In 
1350  an  Invincible  Armada  of  Castilian  ships  was  lying 
in  the  roads  of  Sluys.  Nominally  there  was  a  truce  be 
tween  England  and  France  and  their  allies,  but  a  truce 
made  little  difference  at  sea.  Since  the  battle  of  Sluys 
English  sea-borne  commerce  had  nothing  to  fear  from 
France,  but  the  wine  fleets  coming  from  Bordeaux  and  the 
wool  fleets  passing  between  England  and  Flanders  had 
suffered  severely  at  the  hands  of  the  Castilians,  who  had 
refused  Edward's  offer  of  a  dynastic  alliance,  and  disputed 
his  claim  to  the  lordship  of  the  seas  —  that  u  Dominium 
Maris"  which  was  recognized  as  the  birthright  of  the 
island  kingdom. 

To  protect  his  commerce  and  complete  the  work  done 
at  Sluys,  the  King  got  together  a  fleet  and  waited  for  the 
enemy.  Nearly  all  the  principal  feudatories  were  with 
him,  and  it  is  with  an  evident  relish  that  Froissart  tells 
over  the  names  famous  to  chivalry :  Derby,  Hereford, 
Arundel,  a  Holland,  a  Beauchamp,  a  Neville,  and  a  Percy. 
John,  Earl  of  Richmond,  now  in  his  eleventh  year,  went 
to  sea  with  his  peers,  and  was  on  board  Prince  Edward'? 
ship  on  the  day  of  the  battle.1 

Among  innumerable  picturesque  paaes  in  the  Chronicles, 
perhaps  one  of  the  most  striking  is  that  in  which  Frois 
sart  tells  how  King  Edward  waited  for  the  Spaniards 
on  that  Sunday  in  August  off  the  Sussex  coast,  between 
Winchelsea  and  Rye.  The  King  sits  on  the  foredeck  of 

1  For  the  battle  of  "  L'Espagnols  sur  Met"  see  Chr,  Angl.  28. 
Kn.  II.  67,  Cargrave,  Hist.  Chandos  Herald,  499-501 ,  forgets  his 
dates — 

Et  la  fut  chivaler  Johans 

Son  frdre,  qui  moult  fut  vaillantz 

Qui  de  Lancastre  fut  puis  ducz  ; 

Moult  grantz  parfurent  ses  vertuz. 

Froissart  is  more  convincing :  "  Mais  cils  estoit  si  jones  que 
point  il  ne  s'armoit,  mais  1'avoit  le  princes  avoecques  lui  en  sa 
nef  pource  que  moult  Taimoit."  E,  de  L.  V.  258. 



his  flagship,  the  Satte  du  Roi,  with  his  captains  about 
him,  while  minstrels  play  an  air  brought  back  from 
Germany  by  the  gallant  Sir  John  Chandos.  Suddenly 
music  is  interrupted  by  a  shout  from  the  look-out  man  : 
"  A  Sail ! "  The  King,  like  Drake  on  the  historic  Devon 
shire  green,  will  not  be  interrupted.  He  calls  for  wine, 
and  pledges  his  knights.  Soon  the  whole  Spanish  fleet, 
forty  sail,  with  the  afternoon  sun  striking  on  their  can 
vas,  bears  down  with  a  fresh  north-easter  towards  the 
English  ships. 

With  the  wind  in  their  favour  and  their  greater  tonnage 
and  sail  power,  they  might  have  swept  down  the  Channel, 
but  they  chose  to  stay  and  fight.  There  was  no 
manoeuvring  in  naval  warfare  of  the  fourteenth  century. 
Tactical  instructions  were  comprised  in  three  simple 
rules :  grapple  your  enemy,  board  him,  and  fight  it 

From  vespers  to  nightfall  the  battle  was  fought.  At 
its  close  Edward  had  won  another  crashing  victory ;  but 
it  had  been  a  hard  fight,  and  there  was  scarcely  a  man  in 
the  English  fleet  who  had  not  a  wound  to  show. *  One 
of  the  incidents  of  the  battle  was  the  danger  of  the  Black 
,  Prince.  He  had  grappled  a  Spaniard,  and  his  own  ship 
was  sinking.  For  long  his  men  could  not  board  the 
enemy,  and  it  seemed  as  though  Prince  Edward,  and  with 
him  John  of  Gaunt  and  the  whole  crew,  must  be  lost. 
With  the  cry  of  "  Derby  to  the  Rescue ! "  Henry  of  Lan 
caster  laid  his  ship  alongside  and  carried  the  enemy ; 
the  Prince  and  his  little  brother  were  saved — not  the 
last  time  that  the  fortunes  of  John  of  Gaunt  were  bound 
up  with  those  of  Henry  Plantagenet. 

When  the  battle  was  over,  the  King  landed  atWinchel- 
sea  to  bring  the  news  of  the  victory  and  the  safety  of  her 
sons  to  Queen  Philippa.  Si  passdrent  celle  nuit  les 

1  Froissart,  who  got  his  facts  from  an  eye-witness,  put  the 
Castilian  loss  at  14 ;  Walsingham  at  24  ;  Capgrave  at  30, 



seigneurs  et  les  dames  en  grand  revel  en  parlant  d'armes 
et  d?  amour. 

This  was  the  young  Earl  of  Richmond's  first  taste  of 
chivalry.  Five  years  later  the  apprenticeship  in  arms 
was  renewed.  In  the  summer  of  1355  John  of  Gaunt 
was  attached  to  the  expeditionary  force  placed  under 
the  command  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  with  a  view  to 
co-operating  against  the  French  with  Charles  the  Bad, 
King  of  Navarre  —  who,  having  quarrelled  with  his 
cousin,  John,  King  of  France,  had  concluded  a  secret 
treaty  with  Henry  of  Lancaster  at  Avignon  the  year 
before,  agreeing  to  surrender  his  northern  port  of  Cher 
bourg  into  English  hands.1 

The  young  Earl  of  Richmond  doubtless  wondered, 
with  the  rest  of  Duke  Henry's  captains,  where  the  force 
would  land,  for  the  objective  was  kept  as  secret  as  the 
treaty  which  had  brought  this  latest  and  least  desirable 
ally  into  the  circle  of  England's  friends,  and  the  Admiral 
lying  with  his  fleet  in  the  Thames  had  sealed  orders. 

In  the  end  nothing  was  done,  for  when  the  fleet  got 
under  weigh  at  the  beginning  of  July  and  reached  the 
Channel  Islands  to  wait  for  intelligence  from  the 
supposed  ally  which  never  came,  Charles  the  Bad 
made  peace  with  his  adversary ;  the  fleet  returned  to  pay 
off,  nothing  done,  and  the  Treaty  of  Valognes  saved 
Cherbourg  for  awhile  from  English  occupation.  France 
had  parried  the  thrust,  but  Edward  III  returned  to  the 
charge,  and  at  the  beginning  of  November  landed  with 
an  army  at  Calais  to  lead  a  raid  through  Picardy,*  Again 
John  of  Gaunt  took ,  part  in  the  expedition.3  He  was 
now  more  than  fifteen  years  of  age,  old  enough  to  begin 
fighting  in  earnest/  for  this  was  the  occasion  on  which 

1  Robert  of  Avesbury,  p.  425-6  (Rolls  Series), 
a  Wals,  I,  280 ;  Murimuth,  p.  186. 
3  Robert  of  Avesbury,  427-9. 

*  Et  se  commen9oient  ja  11  enfant  &  armer  (Lionel  and  John). 
Froissart.  K.  de  L.  V.  321. 



King  Edward's  sword  laid  knighthood  on  the  shoulder 
of  the  young  Earl  of  Richmond.1  The  Black  Prince  was 
younger  when  he  won  his  name  upon  the  field  of  Cr£cy ; 
but  no  fame  was  to  be  won  on  this  march,  for  the  demon 
stration  in  Picardy  failed  to  bring  on  an  engagement, 
and  accomplished  nothing  more  than  useless  devastation. 
Further  operations  were  effectually  stopped  by  serious 
news  from  home. 

On  November  6  the  Scots  had  surprised  Berwick,  the 
favourite  pastime  of  the  Border  chiefs,  and  the  King 
returned  at  once.  After  a  hasty  session  of  Parliament, 
Edward  marched  north,  taking  once  more  the  Earl  of 
Richmond  with  him.  Christmas  was  kept  at  Newcastle- 
on-Tyne,  the  rendezvous  of  the  army,  and  on  New  Year's 
Day  the  march  began.  There  was  little  trouble  in  re 
gaining  the  town,  which  was  not  garrisoned  or  victualled 
for  a  siege.  On  January  13  the  keys  were  given  up, 
and  the  King  marched  into  Scotland  to  exact  reprisals.3 

At  Roxburgh  John  of  Gaunt  witnessed  the  famous  or 
infamous  act  of  renunciation,  whereby  Edward  Baliol 
sold  his  birthright  for  a  mess  of  pottage,  making  over  to 
the  King  of  England  his  rights  to  the  Scottish  kingdom 
and  the  Baliol  inheritance.3  The  first  fprmal  documents 
witnessed  by  the  Earl  of  Richmond  are  the  letters 
patent  in  which  Baliol,  pleading  his  age  and  failing 
strength,  and  disguising  his  hatred  of  David  Bruce  under 
the  pretext  of  a  statesmanlike  desire  of  seeing  the  union 
of  Englishmen  and  Scots  under  one  ruler,  transferred  his 
rights  to  Edward  III. 

After  Baliol's  surrender  the  march  continued  without 
opposition,  to  Edinburgh,  where  the  King  took  up  his 
quarters  in  the  house  of  that  good  burgess  who,  on  the 

1  Kn.  II,  80. 

2  Scotichronicon,  IV,  104-5.    Fordun's  indignation  runs  away 
with  him.    Baliol  addresses  the  King  tamquam  leo  rugiens ;  Ea- 
ward  advances  velwt  ursa  raptis  foetibus  in  salttts  sceviens. 

3  Dated  Bamburgh,  January  20,  and  Roxburgh,  January  20 
and  25   (Foed.  V.  832-43). 



eve  of  the  expedition  ending  at  Nevil's  Cross,  besought 
David  Bruce  to  make  him  Mayor  of  London. 

There  John  of  Gaunt  must  have  seen  the  charming 
Countess  of  Douglas,  whose  prayers  stayed  the  King's 
vengeance  and  saved  Edinburgh  from  the  flames,  an  act 
of  clemency  which  thirty  years  later  he  himself  repeated 
— saving,  without  the  prayers  of  a  Countess  of  Douglas, 
the  city  which  Froissart  calls  the  Paris  of  Scotland,  "  car 
c^est  Paris  en Ecosse  comment  que  elle  ne  soitpas  France" 

After  this  lesson  in  warfare  and  chivalry  for  a  time 
we  lose  sight  of  the  Earl  of  Richmond.  He  was  almost 
certainly  in  London  when  the  Black  Prince  returned  in 
the  spring  of  1357,  and  the  city  cheered  the  hero  of 
Poictiers  as  he  rode  in  triumph  with  his  royal  prisoner, 
John,  King  of  France*  In  November  of  that  year  John 
of  Gaunt  probably  shared  in  the  conventional  mourning 
for  the  Queen  Mother  Isabella,  whose  last  years  of  dis 
grace  since  Mortimer's  overthrow  had  been  spent  in  a 
semi-captivity  at  Castle  Rising,  and  who  died  when  her 
grandson  was  in  his  nineteenth  year. 

But  far  more  important  than  his  early  apprenticeship 
in  the  trade  of  war  was  Richmond's  first  meeting  with 
one  who  was  to  be  through  life  his  friend  and  intimate, 
Geoffrey  Chaucer.  It  was  at  Christmas,  1357,  Wml;  John 
of  Gaunt  and  Chaucer  first  came  to  know  each  other* 
Before  this  the  poet  may  have  come  under  his  notice 
in  the  King's  household,  but  at  the  Christmas  feast  of 
1357  *^ey  met  *n  a  ftiore  intimate  manner,  for  both  were 
staying  at  Hatfield  in  Yorkshire  with  Lionel,  now  Earl 
of  Ulster  in  the  right  of  his  wife,  Elizabeth  de  Burgh.1 

1  Skeat,  Chaucer^  vol.  I,  xvii.  (Introduction).  Apparently 
the  Earl  of  Richmond  took  his  whole  household  with  ham.  At 
least,  the  following  entries  occur  in  the  account  of  the  Earl  of 
Ulster :  Magistro  Johanni  Coq'  comitis  Richemundiae  pro  con- 
sueto  annono  de  consueto  dbno — 'i$s.  4<1  Johanni  Lincoln 
clerico  coquinae  dicti  comitis  pro  consueto  annono  de  consueto 
dono — 135,  4d.  Brit.  Mus.  MS.  Addit,  18,632, 



Upon  Chaucer's  fortunes  this  meeting  had  a  lasting 
effect,  for  the  friendship  of  John  of  Gaunt  secured  to  him 
the  favour  of  the  Court,  so  long  as  his  patron  lived,  and 
after  his  death  the  protection  of  the  new  dynasty. 
But  the  advantage  was  not  all  on  one  side.  It  is 
scarcely  fanciful  to  date  from  their  meeting  at  Hatfield, 
and  the  friendship  which  then  began,  that  interest  in 
letters  and  men  of  letters  which  never  forsook  John  of 
Gaunt  among  all  the  cares  of  military  and  political 
ambition.  The  soldier  and  politician  is  touched  by  the 
graces  of  "  more  humane "  pursuits  :  it  is  this  which 
differentiates  him  from  the  rough  and  uncultured  type 
of  men  of  the  age,  whose  thin  veneer  of  chivalry  too  often 
scarcely  concealed  a  rough  and  brutal  nature. 

Hitherto  the  movements  of  King  Edward's  fourth  son 
have  been  barely  followed  by  a  few  scattered  notices 
in  the  chronicles.  After  1359  his  position  changes.  All 
at  once  he  becomes  a  public  character,  and  for  the  next 
forty  years  he  is  never  for  long  out  of  the  public  eye.  TJjg 
reason  for  this  change  lies  in  his  marriage.  In  planning 
his  children's  marriages,  Edward  III  kept  two  objects 
in  view :  that  of  strengthening  his  position  abroad  by 
political  alliances,  and  of  building  up  the  royal  power 
at  home  upon  the  solid  basis  of  territorial  power. 

It  was  the  first  policy  which  led  him  to  look  to  the 
Low  Countries.  Perhaps  the  husband  of  Philippa  of 
Hainault  had  his  prepossessions,  but  for  his  attitude  to 
the  princes  of  the  Low  Countries  satisfactory  reasons, 
military  and  political,  could  be  adduced  in  support  of 
the  dictates  of  sentiment/  Flemish  and  English  com 
merce  were  interdependent ;  and  since  the  short-lived 
imperial  alliance  had  been  discounted,  it  became  all  the 
more  desirable  to  establish  friendly  relations  with  the 
powers  lying  near  the  French  frontier.  With  these  aims 

1  The  Marquess  of  Juliers  was  created  Earl  of  Cambridge 
May  12,  1340.  Foedt  V,  184-5. 


JOHJN    Otf    GAUNT 

in  view,  the  King  in  1340  had  proposed  to  betroth  his 
daughter  Isabella  to  a  son  of  the  Count  of  Flanders,1  and 
at  the  same  time  had  asked  the  hand  of  the  daughter  of 
the  Duke  of  Brabant  for  his  eldest  son,  Edward.3  Those 
negotiations  came  to  nothing,  but  eleven  years  later  the 
same  policy  was  uppermost  in  the  King's  mind,  when 
he  despatched  his  cousin,  Henry  Duke  of  Lancaster,  to 
the  Count  of  Flanders,  to  arrange  a  marriage  between 
the  Count's  daughter  and  John  of  Gaunt.3 

Upon  the  success  or  failure  of  that  mission  depended 
the  dynastic  history  of  England  for  the  next  century. 
If  John  of  Gaunt  had  married  the  Count's  daughter  and 
succeeded  in  time  to  the  position  of  a  continental  poten 
tate,  the  fortunes  of  England  and  of  France  must  have 
been  materially  different.  Perhaps  Artevelde's  dream 
of  an  Anglo-Flemish  empire  might  have  been  realized. 
But  at  least  one  all-important  factor  would  have  been 
removed  from  the  problem  of  English  politics :  the 
House  of  Lancaster  might  not  have  dethroned  the 
Plantagenets ;  perhaps  the  Wars  of  the  Roses  would  not 
have  been  necessary.  But  a  speculative  reconstruction 
of  history,  however  tempting,  is  unprofitable.  Duke 
Henry  did  not  succeed  in  winning  the  daughter  of  the 
Count  of  Flanders  for  John  of  Gaunt.  Eight  years  later 
he  gave  the  hand  of  his  own  daughter  instead.  The  first 
epoch  in  the  public  life  of  John  of  Gaunt  had  begun. 

Some  families  owe  both  the  beginning  and  the  con 
tinuance  of  their  power  to  fortunate  marriages.  That 
this  is  true  of  the  Hapsburgs  is  a  commonplace  of 
history.  It  is  equally  true  of  the  House  of  Lancaster, 
peculiarly  so  of  John  of  Gaunt  himself.  His  fate  is 

1  Powers  were  given  to  the  Earl  of  Salisbury  Jan.  4,  1340. 
Foed,  V.  155. 

3  May  3,  1340  (Ibid.  181);  letter  to  the  Pope  dated 
Oct.  30,  1340,  and  Oct.  26,  1344.  Ibid.  214-5  ;  432. 

3  Powers  dated  June  27,  1351.     Ibid.  710. 



moulded  by  marriage.  The  first  made  him  a  feudal 
magnate  and  shaped  the  next  dozen  years  of  his  history. 
The  second,  equally  momentous,  converted  the  great 
feudatory  into  something  more,  making  him  the  claimant 
to  a  continental  throne  and  deciding  the  bent  of  his 
ambition  for  another  dozen  years.  His  public  life  begins 
and  ends  with  marriage.  To  this  are  due  his  wealth, 
his  power,  and  his  prominence,  and  the  multiplicity  of 
those  hereditary  claims  which  make  up  so  large  a  part 
of  the  interest  of  his  life. 

In  this  prominence  of  the  dynastic  element  the  story 
of  John  of  Gaunt  is  typical  of  the  age.  For  six  years 
Parliament  and  the  Privy  Council  are  occupied  with  the 
dispute  of  two  gentlemen  about  a  certain  coat-of-arms. 
For  Sir  Henry  le  Scrope  and  Robert  Grosvenor  substi 
tute  the  Kings  of  England,  France,  and  Castile ;  for  the 
arms  "  azure  ov  un  bendc  d'or  " — the  lilies,  the  castle  triple 
towered,  and  the  lion  rampant ;  and  the  private  quarrel 
becomes  the  international  dispute.  The  nations  had 
not  yet  learned  to  fight  for  religions  or  for  markets  : 
they  fought  for  the  hereditary  rights  of  their  sovereigns, 
Valois  and  Plantagenet  fight  for  the  crown  of  France. 
Burgundy  and  Trastamare  for  the  crown  of  Castile,  and 
minor  potentates  follow  suit.  For  twenty  years  Brit 
tany  is  torn  by  the  dynastic  quarrel  of  the  houses  of 
Blois  and  Montfort. 

The  dynastic  importance  of  John's  first  marriage  was 
the  result  of  the  extraordinary  position  won  by  the 
House  of  Lancaster.  Henry  Duke  of  Lancaster  was 
the  most  prominent  man  in  England.  In  the  wars 
he  had  proved  himself  one  of  Edward's  ablest  generals. 
His  vast  wealth  and  power  made  him  unquestionably 
the  greatest  feudatory  of  the  Crown,  but  he  had  no 
male  issue.  Two  daughters  were  co-heirs  of  his  estates : 
the  elder,  Matilda  or  Maude,  married  to  William 
Duke  of  Zealand ;  the  younger,  Blanche,  whose  hand  he 
now  gave  to  John  of  Gaunt, 



The  prospect  of  succeeding  to  a  moiety  of  the  Lan 
castrian  inheritance  would  have  been  enough  to  make 
the  match  desirable.  But  the  young  Earl  of  Richmond, 
we  are  told,  had  other  motives  besides  that  of  ambition. 

If  Chaucer's  picture  is  true  to  the  original,  Blanche 
of  Lancaster  united  unusual  graces  of  disposition  with  a 
full  measure  of  womanly  beauty.  The  White  Lady 
of  the  Book  of  the  Duchess  was  the  flower  of  English 
womanhood,  a  blonde  with  golden  hair,  tall,  graceful, 
and  with  something  of  that  ample  richness  of  form  so 
prized  by  the  taste  of  the  fourteenth  century, 

It  is  not  unknown  for  Court  poets  to  use  both  a  poet's 
and  a  courtier's  licence;  and  Chaucer  doubtless  wrote 
with  the  prepossessions  of  friendship,  but  he  wrote  for 
those  who  knew  both  John  of  Gaunt  and  Blanche  of 
Lancaster.  His  attractive  story  of  the  courtship  of  the 
Earl  therefore  may  perhaps  be  accepted :  how  he  met 
with  difficulties,  and  failed  at  first  (for  there  is  no  royal 
road  to  love),  but,  haunted  by  the  "goodly  softe speche " 
and  the  eyes — 

Debonair  goode  glade  and  sadde, 

which  looked  gentleness  and  forgiveness,  persevered  and 
at  length  succeeeded. 

On  Sunday,  May  19,  the  marriage  was  solemnized  at 
Reading1  by  papal  dispensation,  for  John  and  Blanche 

1  Capgrave:  De  Illustribus  Henricis.  164:  Murimuth,  103 
Chr.  Angl.  39-  Wals.  I,  286,  "°" 

To  Thomas  de  Chynham,  Clerk  of  the  Chapel  of  Philippa, 
Queen  of  England,  in  money  paid  to  him  of  the  King's  gift  for 
his  fee  for  the  performance  of  three  marriages  in  the  same  chapel 
viz.,  Margaret,  the  King's  daughter,  the  daughter  of  the  Earl  of 
Ulster  and  John  Earl  of  Richmond— ^10,  Issue  Roll.  (Devon) 
July  15,  33  Ed.  Ill,  1359,  p.  170, 

For  jewels  purchased  for  the  marriage  of  the  Earl  of  Richmond 
and  the  Lady  Blanche :  to  wit,  for  one  ring  with  a  ruby,  £20  • 
and  for  a  belt  garnished  with  rubies,  emeralds  and  pearls  /i8  • 
for  a  trypod  with  a  cup  of  silver  gilt,  £20— £58.  Ibid.  July  6! 
33  Ed.  Ill,  1359,  ttid. 

For  divers  jewels  purchased  for  the  marriage  of  tho  Earl  of 







were  related  in  the  third  and  fourth  degrees  of  con 
sanguinity.1  Taking  place  as  it  did  at  a  time  when 
England  was  looking  forward  to  a  period  of  peace,  the 
marriage  was  eagerly  welcomed  as  an  excuse  for  national 
rejoicing.  Three  days'  jousting  celebrated  the  event  at 
Reading,  and  for  three  days  more  rejoicings  continued  in 
London.  To  mark  its  loyalty  to  the  Sovereign  and  his 
family,  the  City  proclaimed  a  tournament.  Mayor, 
sheriffs,  and  aldermen  undertook  to  hold  the  field  for 
three  days  against  all  corners.  At  the  appointed  time 
twenty-four  knights  wearing  the  cognizance  of  the  City 
entered  the  lists.  They  made  good  their  challenges,  but 
when  the  tournament  was  over  a  surprise  was  in  store 
for  the  people.  To  its  astonishment  and  delight,  London 
found  that,  in  place  of  the  civic  officers,  the  combatants 
who  had  upheld  the  City's  challenge  were  the  King,  his 
four  sons,  Edward,  Lionel,  John,  and  Edmund,  and 
nineteen  of  the  principal  barons  of  England.2 

Such  at  least  is  the  tradition.  If  it  is  true,  the  situation 
is  one  of  the  ironies  of  history ;  before  very  long  the 
cheers  of  the  London  crowds  were  to  turn  to  hisses,  and 
the  citizens  who  in  1359  applauded  John  of  Gaunt 
as  their  champion  soon  came  to  look  upon  him  as  the 
most  determined  enemy  of  their  privileges  and  the  foe 
of  all  civic  liberty. 

Richmond  and  Blanche,  daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster, 
^139  75,  4&  Issue  Roll,  Oct.  26,  34  Ed,  III,  1360,  Ibid.  p.  172. 

For  silver  buckles  given  to  the  Countess  of  Richmond,  ^30. 
Ibid.  March  2,  1360,  Ibid.  p.  173. 

1  Papal  Petitions,  I,  337.  Granted  Avignon  8  Id.  Jan.  7, 
Innocent  VI,  1359. 

a  Barnes,  History  of  Edward  III,  quoting  Holinshed  from  MS. 
Vet,  in  Bibl.  CCC,  Cambridge,  c.  230. 

Chapter  II 

AT  daybreak  on  October  28,  1359,  the  flagship  Philip 
of  Dartmouth  was  hoisting  her  sails  at  Sandwich. 
Edward  III  was  on  board,  bound  for  Calais  :    the  last 
campaign  of  the  first  great  epoch  of  the  Hundred  Years 
War  was  beginning. 

Edward  had  determined  to  besiege  Rheims.  In  the 
cathedral  of  the  ancient  city  where,  from  time  imme 
morial,  the  Kings  of  France  had  received  unction  and 
coronation,  in  the  birthplace  of  the  French  monarchy, 
consecrated  by  tradition  and  surrounded  by  the  halo  of 
a  peculiar  sanctity,  the  King  of  England  aspired  to 
receive  the  crown  of  the  "  Fleurs  de  Lys." 

The  march  from  Calais  to  Rheims  has  little  of  military 
interest  ;  but  the  pomp  and  pageantry  of  the  battle  array 
still  live  in  the  pages  of  Froissart,  who  describes  the 
English  army  marching  out  of  Calais  "  so  great  multitude 
of  people  that  all  the  country  was  covered  therewith,  so 
richly  armed  and  beseen  that  it  was  great  joy  to  behold 
the  fresh  shining  armours,  banners  waving  in  the  wind, 
their  companies  in  good  order,  riding  a  soft  pace."  At 
this  "  soft  pace  "  they  advanced  through  Picardy,  Artois, 
and  Cambr&is  to  the  ecclesiastical  capital  of  France. 
/f  In  the  middle  of  the  fourteenth  century  a  walled  city, 
strongly  held  and  well  garrisoned,  was  almost  impreg 
nable.  Siege  warfare  reversed  the  judgment  of  the 
stricken  field;  the  advantage  was  on  the  side  of  the 
forces  of  defence.  As  Rheims  was  well  garrisoned  and  well 



provisioned,  and  the  Archbishop  made  a  stout  resistance, 
Edward's  seven  weeks'  siege  proved  fruitless.  The 
camp  was  broken  up,  and  the  English  army,  turning  to 
the  south  past  Troyes,  Tonnerre,  and  Noyers,  marched  to 
Guillon-sur-Serain,  making  a  feint  on  Burgundy. 

There,  while  the  English  captains  amused  themselves 
with  hawking  and  hunting,  and  fished  the  streams  and 
rivers  for  their  lenten  fare,  Philip  de  Rouvre,  Duke 
of  Burgundy,  made  terms  with  the  invader,  and  bought 
three  years'  immunity  for  his  lands,  which  had  not  yet 
felt  the  scourge  of  the  war,  at  the  price  of  200,000  francs — 
and  his  loyalty  to  France. 

It  was  no  part  of  the  King's  plan  to  invade  Burgundy. 
He  took  the  bribe  and  turned  north-west  to  Paris,  Chal 
lenge  of  battle  was  steadily  refused,  Taught  by  disaster, 
Charles,  Regent  of  France,  refused  to  risk  battle,  and 
was  not  to  be  tempted  by  a  demonstration  at  his  gates. 
From  the  walls  of  Paris,  within  which  the  populace  of  the 
suburbs  St,  Germain  des  Pres,  Notre  Dame  des  Champs, 
and  St.  Marcelle  were  gathered,  his  subjects  watched 
the  smoke  rising  from  farm  and  homestead,  and  the 
whole  country-side  from  Montlh^ri  to  Chatillon  in 
flames.1  An  attempt  to  besiege  Paris  was  hopeless,  and 
the  army  turned  westward. 

Meanwhile  famine  was  wearing  away  the  strength  of 
the  invaders.  From  the  Seine  to  Etampes  there  was 
neither  man  nor  food,  and  by  the  time  that  the  English 
had  reached  Chartres  their  sufferings  from  privation  and 
bad  weather  were  intense.  On  Monday  after  Easter, 
one  of  the  most  mournful  Eastertides  that  Paris  has  seen, 
a  terrible  storm  overtook  the  army ;  the  English  soldiers 
never  forgot  that  "  Black  Monday,"  when  fortune 

1  Chr.  VaL  100-116 ;  Richard  Lescot,  142  seq. ;  Continuator 
of  Guillaume  de  Nangis  (He  was  an  eye-witness  of  the  misery 
of  Paris) ;  II,  301  ;  Chr.  Reg.  Franc,  289  seq.  Froissart  K,  de  L. 
VI,  203-294.  Kn,  II,  105-112. 



seemed  to  have  turned  against  them.  The  saints  were 
surely  punishing  their  impiety  in  violating  the  lands 
of  Notre  Dame  de  Chartres.  The  King  allowed  himself  to 
be  persuaded  to  listen  to  terms  ;  on  May  8  the  treaty  con 
cluded  at  Bretigni  ended  the  first  phase  of  the  great  war. 

If  the  sufferings  of  the  invading  army  had  been  great, 
those  of  the  miserable  crowds  herded  together  within  the 
walls  of  the  capital  had  been  greater. 

On  Sunday,  May  10,  the  Regent  took  the  oath  to  ob 
serve  the  treaty ;  the  act,  humiliating  as  it  was  for 
France,  was  hailed  "  with  a  joy  unspeakable  "  ;  through 
out  Paris  the  church  bells  were  set  ringing,  while  in  Notre 
Dame  the  "  Te  Deum  "  was  chanted  in  thanksgiving  for 
the  deliverance. 

The  army  returned  to  England.  Apart  from  its  poli 
tical  results,  the  campaign  had  done  little  to  justify  the 
judgment  of  the  Valois  Chronicler  who  calls  Edward, 
"Le  plus  sage  guerroier  du  monde  et  le  plus  soubtil." 
The  political  results,  the  terms  of  Bretigni,  might  with 
more  justice  be  attributed  to  the  campaign  of  1356  than 
to  that  of  1360.  It  was  really  the  captivity  of  his  father 
which  forced  the  Regent's  hand.  Judged  from  a  stra 
tegic  point  of  view,  the  campaign  was  a  failure.  The 
military  education  of  John  of  Gaunt  had  opened  with  a 
most  unfortunate  example.  Thirteen  years  later  he  was 
to  put  into  practice  the  principles  of  his  father,  to  be 
confronted  with  the  same  difficulties,  and  to  suffer  the 
same  failure.  But  if  there  had  been  little  generalship, 
there  had  been  plenty  of  fighting,  and  in  that  the  Earl  of 
Richmond  had  played  his  part :  he  had  taken  his  share  in 
the  skirmishes  and  raids  on  the  march — at  Rethel,  where 
his  friend  Geoffrey  Chaucer  was  captured,  at  the  sack  of 
Cernay-en-Dormois,  and  at  the  capture  of  Cormicy;  and 
atRheimshe  had  commanded  one  of  the  three"  battles  " 
of  the  besieging  army.1 

*  Kn.  107-8. 


When  in  May  he  returned  with  the  King  to  England, 
and  the  curtain  fell  on  the  first  act  of  the  Hundred  Years 
War,  his  political  life  was  just  beginning.  In  1360  he 
received  his  first  summons  to  Parliament  as  Earl  of 

Within  three  years  the  king's  fourth  son  was  the  great 
est  feudatory  in  England,  and  in  power,  wealth,  and 
position  there  was  no  one  to  dispute  his  claim  to  rank  as 
the  first  subject  of  the  Crown. 

John  was  ambitious  ;  but  apart  from  ambition,  he  found 
"  greatness  thrust  upon  him."  Forces  beyond  his  con 
trol — partly  fortune,  partly  policy — had  shaped  his  des 
tinies.  The  causes  of  this  " greatness"  were:  first,  the 
succession  to  the  Lancastrian  inheritance ;  and  second, 
the  removal  from  England  of  his  two  elder  brothers, 
Edward  and  Lionel. 

War,  plague,  and  famine  succeed  one  to  another  in  the 
Middle  Ages  with  a  fearful  regularity.  For  a  time  war 
"  had  ceased;  but  in  1361  the  Great  Hague,  which,  since 
its  first  appearance  in  1349*  h&d  never  wholly  passed 
away,  broke  out  with  more  than  usual  malignancy. 
The  death  roll  was  long ;  but  among  many  notable 
victims  the  most  illustrious  was  Henry  the  "  Good " 
Duke  of  Lancaster,2  and  the  Plague,  which  enriched 
William  of  Wykeham  with  a  dozen  prebends,  brought  to 
John  of  Gaunt  the  greatest  inheritance  in  England. 

Duke  Henry  left  two  daughters  and  co-heirs,  the 
younger  Blanche  Countess  of  Richmond,  the  elder 
Matilda  or  Maude,  who  had  been  married  first  to  Ralf ,  son 
of  the  Earl  of  Stafford,  and  afterwards  to  William  of 
Bavaria,  son  of  the  Emperor  Lewis,  and  Duke  of  Zealand. 

The  lands  of  Duke  Henry  were  divided,3  but  not  for 

1  gy  wrjt  flateci  November  20,  34  Edward  III.    Dugdale, 
Summons,  p,  262, 

2  Aeterna  memoria  dignus.  Kn.  II.  114.    He  died  March  23, 
1361  (Bateson,  Records  of  the  Borough  of  Leicester). 

3  Kn,  II.  115,116. 



long.  Matilda  of  Lancaster,  coming  to  England  to  take 
possession  of  her  patrimony,  fell  a  victim,  like  her  father, 
to  the  Plague,  and  died  on  April  10,  1362,  and  all  Duke 
Henry's  lands  passed  to  his  younger  daughter,  now  sole 
heir,  and  in  her  right  to  her  husband,  John  of  Gaunt. 

A  few  months  later  John  of  Gaunt,  Earl  of  Richmond, 
in  his  own  right  and  in  the  right  of  his  wife  Earl  of  Lan 
caster,  Derby,  Lincoln,  and  Leicester,  and  High  Seneschal 
of  England,  was  promoted  to  the  dignity  held  by  his 
father-in-law.  In  the  Parliament  of  November,  1362, 
the  King  created  him  Duke  of  Lancaster,  and  formally 
invested  him  with  the  duchy,  by  "  girding  him  with  the 
sword  and  setting  the  cap  upon  his  head."  x 

In  the  history  of  the  House  of  Lancaster,  with  which 
John  of  Gaunt  now  became  identified,  it  is  possible  to 
trace,  with  all  due  allowance  for  the  difference  of  circum 
stance  and  divergence  of  personal  temperament,  a  marked 
and  permanent  tradition.  Towards  the  great  problem  of 
constitutional  government  which,  since  the  end  of  the 
thirteenth  century,  the  nation  had  set  itself  to  solve,  the 
Earls  of  Lancaster  had  contributed  little  or  nothing. 
They  had  good  service  to  record,  but  there  was  no  con 
stitutional  fibre  in  the  stock.  All  were  men  of  great 
energy.  They  were  pious,  with  the  conventional  piety 
of  their  age.  They  were  men  of  strong  purpose,  and  of 
great  ambition.  They  were  gallant  soldiers,  and  perhaps 
the  strongest  passion  of  their  race  was  the  love  of  arms 
combined  with  thirst  for  adventure. 

Edmund,  the  founder  of  his  house,  as  a  child  had  been 
trained  to  thoughts  of  continental  sovereignty.  By 
Papal  grant  the  titular  Kingship  of  Sicily  and  Apulia  is 

1  Pot.  Part.  II.  273.  "  Et  puis  nre  dit  Seign'  le  Roi  ceinta  son 
dity  filz  Johan  d'un  Espeie,  et  mist  sur  sa  teste  une  cappe  ftirre, 
et  desus  urx  cercle  d'or  et  de  peres,  et  lui  noma  et  fist  Duo  de 
Lancastre ;  et  lui  bailla  un.  Chartre  du  dit  Noun  de  Due  de 
Lancastre."  The  Charter  is  dated  November  13,  1362,  Hardy 
Charters  VI. 










W  8 



his  until  Henry  III,  repenting  of  a  bad  bargain,  refuses 
to  fight  the  battles  of  the  Popes  against  the  Hohen- 
stauffen.  A  grown  man,  he  longs  to  exchange  the  ease 
of  the  Savoy  for  the  hardships  of  the  fields  of  Palestine  ; 
he  shares  in  the  glorious  illusions  of  the  Crusades,  draws 
his  sword  against  the  enemies  of  the  Faith,  and  fights  in 
the  last  great  battle  at  Acre.  His  devotion  is  vouched 
for  by  many  besides  the  Grey  Friars  of  Preston,  whose 
house  he  founded,  or  the  Sisters  of  St.  Clare  at  Aldgate. 
The  second  Earl,  Thomas,  shows  less  knight-errantry 
than  any  other  of  the  house  ;  with  him  home  politics  and 
the  cares  of  a  vast  English  domain  thrust  aside  the  calls 
of  foreign  ambition.  For  Earl  Thomas,  though  no 
statesman,  has  a  policy.  He  asserts  the  rights  which  his 
position,  as  the  greatest  feudatory  of  the  Crown,  seems 
to  challenge.  A  council  of  magnates  is  to  govern  Eng 
land  and  the  King,  and  he  is  to  exercise  an  irregular 
dictatorship  in  the  Council.  But  the  times  are  changing, 
and  the  ideals  of  Simon  de  Montfort  no  longer  satisfy 
a  people  awakening  to  constitutional  life.  In  one  thing 
alone  he  has  the  sympathy  of  all  parties- — his  bitter 
hatred  of  upstart  royal  favourites.  He  puts  Piers 
Gaveston  to  death,  and  his  own  life  pays  the  forfeit, 

But  the  people  do  not  forget.  The  hard  man  of  few 
scruples  and  unmeasured  ambition  is  transformed  into 
a  Saint.  Blood  still  flows  and  miracles  are  wrought  at 
the  tomb  of  St.  Thomas  of  Lancaster,  and  the  Govern 
ment  of  Edward  II  cannot  prevent  the  worship  of  Piers 
Gaveston's  murderer  with  Simon  de  Montfort  among 
the  martyrs  of  English  liberty.1 

1  See  the  "Office  of  St.  Thomas  of  Lancaster,"  beginning: 

Gaude  Thoma,  ducum  decus,  lucerna  Lancastriae. 

Ad  sepulchrum  cujus  fiunt  frequenter  miracula. 

Caeci,  claudi,  surdi,  muti,  membra  paralytica, 

Prece  sua  consequentur  optata  praesidia.  Political  Songs  of 
England  from  the  reign  of  John  to  that  of  Edward  II.  Thomas 
Wright,  Camden  Society,  1839. 



In  the  death  of  the  favourite,  Henry,  third  Earl,  had 
no  share.  But  the  feud  with  royal  favourites  he  makes 
his  own.  With  his  brother's  arms  he  assumes  his  bro 
ther's  quarrel.  The  Despencers  and  Mortimer  share 
Gaveston's  fate ;  Edward  II  falls,  and  Earl  Thomas  is 
avenged.  Henry,  too,  has  the  piety  of  his  father ;  the 
new  hospital  of  St.  Mary  of  Leicester  is  one  of  the  many 
foundations  which  prove  the  devotion  of  the  House  of 
Lancaster  to  the  Church. 

His  son  Henry,  the  first  Duke  of  Lancaster,  was  the 
best  and  greatest  of  his  line.  Known  to  his  age  as  the 
"  Good  Duke,"  Henry  was  the  very  pattern  of  the  "  parfit 
gentil  knight."  Aspirants  for  chivalrous  distinction 
came  from  all  parts  of  Europe  to  perfect  themselves  in 
arms  and  knighthood  in  his  household — the  most  mag 
nificent  in  England,  for  even  in  peace  Duke  Henry  retained 
two  hundred  knights  and  esquires  in  his  service.  He 
fought  the  enemies  of  England  and  of  the  Church.  The 
heathen  in  Lithuania,  and  the  Moors  at  Algeciras,  Rhodes, 
Cyprus  and  the  East  knew  his  courage.  The  favourite 
of  the  nation  and  the  hero  of  the  French  wars,  he  was 
the  most  notable  of  Edward's  generals,  until  his  fame 
began  to  pale  before  the  rising  brilliance  of  Prince 
Edward's  star. 

And  in  Duke  Henry  the  adventurous  daring  of  the 
Lancastrian  blood  was  crowned  with  the  ornament  of 
personal  saintliness  and  gentle  piety.  In  a  time  of  sickness 
he  had  written  a  book  of  devotion, "  Mercy,  Grand,  Mercy" 
recalling  the  sins  for  which  he  prayed  forgiveness,  and 
the  blessings  for  which  he  owed  gratitude  to  Heaven. 
He  built  churches  and  endowed  monasteries.  The 
Church  was  enriched  by  his  bounty  and  edified  by  his  life, 
and  the  poor  and  oppressed  found  in  him  a  protector 
and  a  friend. 

Such  were  the  traditions  of  the  house  with  which  John 
of  Gaunt  allied  himself,  and  whose  name  he  made  pecu- 



liarly  his  own.  The  fifth  Earl  followed  in  the  steps  of  his 
kinsmen,  and  with  the  heiress  of  their  lands  espoused 
their  traditions. 

With  as  little  of  real  statesmanship  as  Earl  Thomas, 
John  of  Gaunt  stands  the  foremost  of  the  great  feuda 
tories,  his  influence  built  on  the  solid  basis  of  territorial 
power.  In  the  stormy  days  of  King  Richard's  rule  he 
shows  the  same  hatred  of  royal  favourites.  What 
Gaveston  and  the  Despencers  were  to  Earl  Thomas  and 
Henry,*  Robert  de  Vere  is  to  him.  He  has  the  same  con 
ventional  piety  ;  indeed,  in  foundations  and  endowments 
he  surpasses  all  his  predecessors.  Above  all,  he  has  the 
Lancastrian  love  of  arms  and  adventure.  The  days  of 
the  Crusades  are  over ;  but  as  Edmund  the  Crusader 
had  fought  the  infidel,  John  "Captain  and  Standard- 
bearer  of  the  Church  "  fights  the  Antipope.  Edmund, 
"  King  of  Sicily  and  Apulia,"  reappears  in  John  "  King 
of  Castile  and  Leon.55 

Was  it  policy  or  the  mere  caprice  of  fortune  that 
thrust  King  Edward's  third  surviving  son  into  the  fore 
most  rank  ?  Certainly  it  seems  as  though  the  King  had 
from  the  first  marked  out  for  special  favour  the  son  who, 
with  the  Plantagenet  build  and  features,  inherited  to  the 
full  the  characteristics  of  his  race.  If  this  were  so,  fate 
conspired  with  the  King's  preference. 

Lionel  "  of  Antwerp  "  was  two  years  older  than  John 
"  of  Gaunt."  Betrothed  in  1342  to  the  infant  heiress  of 
the  Earls  of  Clare  and  Ulster,  Lionel  in  1363  went  to 
Ireland  as  the  King's  Lieutenant.  After  three  years' 
dreary  exile  he  returned,1  but  not  to  play  the  part  which 
might  have  fallen  to  him  at  the  English  Court.  He  went 
to  Italy  to  seek  a  bride — and  to  find  a  grave.  In  April 
he  married  the  daughter  of  Galeazzo,  Lord  of  Milan. 
Six  months  later  death  cheated  him  of  the  Italian  inherit- 

1  Eulog.  241, 


ance.  His  end  was  mysterious ;  there  were  dark  hints 
of  poison,  and  perhaps  the  Lord  of  Milan  knew  more 
than  another  of  the  mystery. 

The  Duke  of  Clarence  scarcely  finds  a  place  in  the 
annals  of  his  time ;  for  history  the  only  significance  of 
his  life  lies  in  his  first  marriage.  The  heiress  of  Clare, 
before  her  death  in  1363,  had  borne  him  a  daughter, 
whose  issue  by  the  Earl  of  March  came,  on  the  failure  of 
Prince  Edward's  line,  to  inherit  the  legitimate  right  to 
the  English  throne. 

The  Black  Prince,  who  in  1361  had  married  his  cousin 
Joan,  the  c<  Fair  Maid  of  Kent,"  created  Prince  of  Aqui- 
taine,  in  1362  left  England  to  govern  the  Gascon  de 
pendency  in  the  same  year  in  which  Clarence  went  to 

John  of  Gaunt  was  left  at  the  King's  right  hand,  with 
little  rivalry  to  fear  from  Edmund  of  Langley,  Earl  of 
Cambridge,  a  colourless  character  with  neither  energy 
nor  ambition,  or  from  Thomas  of  Woodstock,  fifteen 
years  his  junior.  During  the  few  years  following  his 
succession  to  the  Lancastrian  inheritance  John  of  Gaunt 
remained  in  England,  enjoying  his  new  dignities  and 
visiting  with  the  Lady  Blanche  his  new  lands  and 

Questions  of  the  first  importance  were  discussed  in 
Parliament  and  in  the  Council;  as  yet  the  Duke  of 
Lancaster  was  content  to  listen.  He  was  one  of  the 
"Triers  of  Petitions"  in  the  Parliament  of  October, 
1362,  which  recognized  English  as  the  language  of  the 
courts  of  law,2  and  again  in  October,  1363,  when  for  the 

1  Tax  of  a  custom  given  to  the  Lady  of  Leicester  on  her  first 
coming.  Tallage  Roll  quoted  by  Bateson,  Records  of  the  Borough 
of  Leicester  ii.  131. 

a  Parliament  sat  at  Westminster  from  October  13  to  November 
17,  1362  (Rot.  Part.  II.  268-274).  John  was  summoned  by  writ 
dated  August  14  as  "  Earl  of  Lancaster  and  Richmond."  Dug- 
dale,  Summons,  p.  266. 



first  time  a  Chancellor  declared  the  causes  of  the  sum 
mons  of  Parliament  in  the  mother  tongue.1 

The  most  significant  sign  of  the  times  was  the  growing 
hostility  of  England  to  the  Papacy,  now  transplanted  to 
Avignon,  and  acting  in  undisguised  alliance  with  the 
Court  of  France.  In  January,  1365,  Parliament  forbade 
English  subjects  to  obey  citation  to  the  Papal  Court,  and 
declared  Papal  "  provision  "  to  English  benefices  illegal,3 
and  when  Urban  V  made  his  ill-timed  demand  for  the 
thirty-three  years'  arrears  of  tribute,  the  Parliament  of 
May,  1366,  repudiated  once  and  for  all  the  preposterous 
claim,  which  dated  from  the  infamy  of  King  John.3 

At  both  these  Parliaments  Lancaster  was  present. 
He  was  the  first  on  the  roll  of  peers  summoned  to  the 
Parliament  which  rejected  the  claim  of  Urban  V  to  feudal 
suzerainty  over  England,  the  decision  for  which  John 
Wycliffe,  now  a  Royal  chaplain,  produced  the  official 
apologia.  But  the  real  significance  of  the  changing 
relations  between  England  and  the  Papacy  he  did  not 
see ;  with  the  principle  underlying  "  pro  visors  "  and  tl  prae- 
munire"  he  had  little  sympathy,  and,  as  will  be  seen,  in 
later  years  he  regarded  what  was  really  the  quarrel  of  the 
nation  with  Rome  as  the  quarrel  of  the  bishops,  and  his 
sympathy  was  more  or  less  openly  on  the  side  of  the 

But  this  is  a  forecast.  As  yet  far  more  engrossing 
than  politics  were  the  feasts  and  revels  of  King  Edward's 
brilliant  Court. 

On  St.  George's  Day,  1361,  Lancaster  for  the  first  time 

1  This  Parliament  sat  from  October  6  to  November  3,  1363. 
Rot.  Part.  II.  275-282.  John  was  summoned  as  "  Duke  of  Lan 
caster.'*  Dugdale,  Summons,  p,  268, 

3  Parliament  sat  from  January  20, 1365,  to  February  25.  Rot. 
Parl.  II.  283-48.  Lancaster  was  one  of  the  Triers  of  Petitions 
in  this  and  in  all  succeeding  Parliaments  which  he  attended. 

3  Parliament  sat  from  May  4  to  12,  1366,  Rot.  Pcirl.  II.  289- 



filled  a  stall  in  the  Chapel  of  the  Knights  of  the  Garter  at 
Windsor,  and  took  his  place  at  the  feast  of  the  Order, 
clad  in  a  "  scarlet  robe  embroidered  with  garters  of  blue 
taffeta."1  With  his  brothers  Lionel  and  Edmund  he 
was  enrolled  in  the  brotherhood  of  chivalry,  which  was 
to  make  Windsor  another  Camelot,  to  restore  the  faded 
glory  of  King  Arthur's  Court,  and  bind  to  one  another 
and  to  the  person  of  the  English  sovereign  the  first  sol 
diers  of  the  lands  of  chivalry. 

England,  now  at  the  height  of  her  military  fame,  was 
visited  by  knights  from  all  the  nations  of  Europe.  After 
the  Peace  signed  at  BnStigni  had  been  confirmed  at 
Calais,  the  country  was  given  up  to  rejoicing.  At  Smith- 
field  and  Windsor  there  were  tournaments  and  jousts 
at  which  French  and  Bohemian,  Spanish  and  Gascon 
knights  vied  with  one  another  and  with  their  English 
hosts.  Hunting  in  the  forests  of  Sherwood  and  Rocking- 
ham  was  as  serious  a  part  of  the  business  of  life  as  the 
meetings  of  Parliament. 

In  one  year  three  kings  met  at  King  Edward's  Court — 
Waldemar  III  of  Denmark,  David  King  of  Scots,  and 
Pierre  de  Lusignan,  King  of  Cyprus.  David  had  come 
to  visit  the  shrine  of  Our  Lady  of  Walsingham  ;  he  was  a 
suppliant  for  temporal  fovours  also,  and  was  begging  for 
a  reduction  of  his  ransom.  Pierre  de  Lusignan,  after 
visiting  Avignon  and  Prague,  Bruges  and  Paris,  to  preach 
his  crusade  against  the  infidel,  was  entreating  King 
Edward  to  take  the  Cross, 

1  According  to  Beltz  (Memorials  of  the  Order  of  the  Garter)]ohn, 
Lionel,  and  Edmund  succeeded  to  the  stalls  of  Thomas  Holland 
Earl  of  Kent,  John  Lord  Beaucbamp,  and  William  Bohun  Earl 
of  Northampton,  all  of  whom  died  at  the  close  of  1 360. 

Thus  Lancaster's  stall  would  be  the  fourteenth,  and  he  himself 
the  thirty-seventh  Knight  of  the  Garter.  Robes  were  first  pro 
vided  for  him  at  the  festival  of  1 36 1 .  Ibid. 

There  is  no  trace  of  his  achievement  in  the  Chapel,  nor  is  it 
mentioned  in  any  extant  list, 



At  the  Savoy,  the  "  fairest  palace  in  the  realm,"  which 
Duke  Henry  had  rebuilt  from  the  spoils  of  Bergerac,and 
filled  with  all  the  precious  things  which  fourteenth- 
century  luxury  could  afford,  the  three  kings  and  the 
French  hostages  were  entertained  by  the  Duke  of  Lan 
caster.  There,  doubtless,  Chaucer  met  the  Crusader 
who  had  won  Attalia  from  the  Paynim,  and  was  soon  to 
win  Alexandria,  and  whose  untimely  end  still  points  a 
moral  in  the  "  Monke's  Tale."  *  There,  too,  the  next 
year  the  King  of  France,  returning  to  the  land  of  his 
captivity,  to  take  the  place  of  the  Duke  of  Anjou,  who 
had  broken  his  parole,  lived  for  the  few  months  that 
remained  to  him,  and  there  on  April  8,  1364,  he  died. 

By  that  year  the  family  settlement  of  Edward  III 
was  thought  out  and  almost  completed.  One  thing, 
however,  remained  to  be  done.  Edmund  of  Langley, 
Earl  of  Cambridge,  the  King's  fifth  son,  had  no  wife. 
The  search  for  one  brought  to  John  of  Gaunt  his  first 
experience  of  diplomacy. 

In  1361  Philip  "  de  Rouvres,"  Duke  of  Burgundy,  died, 
and  his  line  became  extinct.  Philip  left  a  widow,  Mar 
garet,  only  daughter  and  heiress  of  Louis  III,  surnamed 
de  Mile,  Count  of  Flanders,  Artois,  Nevers,  and  Rethel. 
On  Philip's  death  his  duchy  of  Burgundy  reverted  to 
the  French  crown,  but  the  county  of  Burgundy,  a  fief 
of  the  Empire,  was  held  by  the  Counts  of  Flanders,  and 
was  therefore  part  of  Margaret's  patrimony. 

With  the  prospect  of  succeeding  to  this  great  inherit- 

1  O  worthy  Petro,  King  of  Cypre,  also 
That  Alisaundre  wan  by  heigh  maistrye 
Ful  many  a  hethen  wroughtestow  M  wo, 
Of  which  thyn  owene  liges  hadde  envye, 
And  for  no  thing  but  for  thy  chivalrye 
They  in  thy  bedde  han  slayne  thee  by  the  morwe. 
Thus  can  fortune  his  wheel  governe  and  gye, 
And  out  of  Joye  bringe  men  to  sorwe. 

Chaucer:  Monke's  Tale,  358i-9(Skeat), 


ance,  comprising  fiefs  of  France  and  of  the  Empire,  the 
wealth  of  Flanders,  and  lands  stretching  into  the  very 
heart  of  France,  Margaret  was  unquestionably  the  most 
important  heiress  of  the  day.1  Philip's  death  left  her 
hand  to  be  the  apple  of  discord  at  the  feast  of  the  Princes 
of  Europe — the  prize  of  successful  diplomacy. 

Edward  III  took  time  by  the  forelock,  and  opened 
negotiations  as  soon  as  decency  allowed,  The  match 
would  provide  for  Edmund,  and  round  off  the  family 
settlement.  It  would  strike  a  fatal  blow  at  the  Valois 
dynasty,  and  do  more  for  the  English  cause  in  the  great 
quarrel  than  ever  Cr<5cy  or  Poictiers  had  done. 

Fortune  seemed  to  be  smiling  on  the  King's  efforts. 
By  1364  he  had  arrived  at  an  understanding  with  Count 
Louis,  and  in  the  summer  a  special  mission,  consisting 
of  the  Bishop  of  London,  the  Earl  of  Salisbury,  and 
Henry  le  Scrope,  Warden  of  Calais,  was  appointed  to  go 
to  Flanders  and  conclude  preliminary  arrangements.2 
On  September  7  the  Count  met  the  English  envoys  at 
Bruges  and  came  to  terms.3  A  fortnight  later  Lancaster 
was  on  his  way  to  Flanders,  accredited  as  envoy  extra- 


Louis  II  Count  SB  Margaret  Jeanne  -Bute  IV 

of  Flanders, 
Nevers  and 
Rethel,  d,  1346 

Countess  ot 

Duke  of 
d,  1350 

Louis  III  "  de  Mile,"  =* Margaret  Ph  lip  Duke  ot 

Count  of  Flanders, 
Artois,  Nevers  and 
Rethel,  d.  1383 

daughter  ot  Burgundy, 

John  III  of  d,  1346 


(ii.)  Philip  "le  Hardi"= Margaret =(i.)  Philip  "  de  Rouvre,"  Duke 
1363,    Duke    of    Bur-  of  Burgundy,  d,  1361,  21  Nov. 

gundy,  d.  1404 

2  Powers  dated  July  20,  1364.     Foed,  VI.  444-5. 

3  Record  Report  XLV,  Appendix  (3)  viii.  208. 


ordinary.  The  Earl  of  Cambridge  went  with  him  to 
press  the  suit.1 

Count  Louis,  who  was  by  this  time  out  of  humour  with 
his  French  suzerain,  seemed  eager  for  the  English  alli 
ance.  At  Bruges  and  Ghent  he  entertained  Lancaster 
and  his  would-be  son-in-law.  Then  returning  with  them 
to  Calais  he  crossed  to  Dover,  and  there,  on  October  19, 
formally  ratified  the  marriage  treaty,2  It  was  agreed 
that  Edmund  should  marry  Margaret  of  Burgundy  in 
the  first  week  in  February,  1365,  and  that  the  Earl 
should  receive  a  suitable  provision,  consisting  of  Calais, 
Guines  and  Merk,  and  lands  in  England  and  lordships  in 

Thus  at  the  outset  of  his  reign  Charles  V  found  him 
self  face  to  face  with  a  danger  which  threatened  the  very 
existence  of  his  dynasty.  The  English  scheme  was  far 
more  than  a  revival  of  the  policy  put  forward  by  Arte- 
velde  twenty  years  before.  Political  union  between 
England  and  Flanders  was  only  one  of  the  consequences 
of  an  arrangement  which  would  have  placed  some  of  the 
most  important  fiefs  of  the  French  crown  in  the  hands 
of  an  English  prince,  and  established  the  enemy  on  the 
frontiers  of  the  kingdom.  The  treaty  had  been  signed, 
and  the  arrangements  were  almost  complete.  One 
small  formality  alone  remained.  Edmund  and  Margaret 
were  related  in  the  third  degree  of  consanguinity,  and 
Papal  dispensation  was  therefore  required  to  legalize 
their  union. 

1  Chr.  AngL  55  ;  Ypod.  Neus.  309  ;  Wals.  I,  300-1  ;  Higd. 
VIII,  App.  363  ;  Bulog.  235.  Lancaster  received  ^400  for  the 
expenses  of  the  embassy  (Issues  of  the  Exchequer,  November 
22,  1365).  Cf,  "  Foreign  Accounts  "  45  Ed.  Ill,  5,  m.  "  D  "— 
the  account  of  Robert  Crulle,  clerk  of  the  King's  ships  for  the 
expenses  of  the  Duke's  ships,  La  Sainte  Marie  and  another,  with 
64  mariners  from  September  24  to  November  3,  1364.  [P.R.O.] 

3  Confirmed  by  the  Black  Prince  as  Prince  of  Aquitaine,  Feb 
ruary  20,  1365.  Feed,  VI.  461-2. 



But  the  Vicar  of  Christ,  who  held  the  power  to  bind 
and  to  loose,  lived  at  Avignon,  and  Avignon  obeyed  the 
commands  of  Paris.  Urban  V  listened  to  the  repre 
sentations  of  his  ally,  or  his  master,  and  refused  dispen 
sation.1  It  is  true  that  a  few  months  before  he  had 
granted  it  under  exactly  similar  circumstances,  but  now 
it  was  found  impossible  to  relax  the  strictness  of  canon 
law.  The  barrier  of  relationship  could  not  be  sur 

In  vain  the  marriage  was  postponed  from  February  to 
May,  and  again  in  May  to  a  later  date.2  The  Pope  re 
mained  inexorable.  Negotiations  dragged  on,3  but  to 
no  purpose.  Margaret  remained  a  widow.  Gradually 
the  affections  of  Count  Louis,  never  very  stable,  for  the 
English  alliance  cooled,  and  the  importunate  demands 
of  his  mother,  a  bitter  enemy  of  England,  prevailed.* 

Eight  years  later  Margaret  married  Philip  the  Bold, 
to  whom  King  John  had  granted  the  Duchy  of  Bur 
gundy.  French  diplomacy  had  won  the  battle  ;  but  it 
was  a  victory  dearly  purchased.  In  1383  Louis  de 
Mile  died,  and  the  coveted  inheritance  was  united  with 
the  Duchy  of  Burgundy,  in  the  hands  of  the  most  am 
bitious  of  the  Valois  princes.  Overgrown  feudatories 
like  the  Dukes  of  Lancaster  and  the  Dukes  of  Burgundy 
proved  a  thorn  in  the  side  of  the  French  monarchy  until 
the  fatal  success  of  Charles  V  was  remedied  by  the  policy 

1  Bull  dated  Avignon  15  Kal.,  January  3,  Urban  V, 


2  Powers  to  Sir  Henry  le  Scrope,  December  18,  1364,  Foed,  VI. 
47-8.     Record  Report  XLV.  Appendix  (3)  viiL  205. 

3  October  24,  1365.    Foed,  VI.  479, 

4  In   the   Chron.  Reg.  Franc,  II.  335-6,  the  negotiations  of 
1350  and  1364  are  confused.    The  author  thinks  that  the  object 
of  later  negotiations  was  to  marry  Margaret  of  Burgundy  to 
Lancaster  "  cuius  uxor  decesserat/'     But  Blanche  of  Lancaster 
died  September  12,  1369,  and  Philip  the  Bold  married  Margaret 
June  19  that  year,  TheReligieuxdeSt.  Denys  repeats  the  mistake, 
I.  159. 



of  Louis  XI,  and  the  ghost  of  the  "  Middle  Kingdom,5' 
which  had  come  back  once  more  in  the  fourteenth  cen 
tury  to  haunt  France,  was  laid  once  and  for  all. 

To  a  man  who  had  in  him  the  makings  of  a  statesman, 
insight  into  political  conditions,  and  the  power  of  measur 
ing  and  using  political  forces,  the  embassy  of  1364  would 
have  been  an  invaluable  experience.  The  wooing  of 
Margaret  of  Burgundy  brought  to  view  a  complex  of 
political  foices  of  the  first  importance.  The  relations, 
commercial  and  political,  of  England  and  Flanders ;  the 
relations  of  the  Count  to  his  Flemish  subjects  on  the  one 
hand,  and  his  French  suzerain  on  the  other ;  the  power 
and  policy  of  the  Papacy  transplanted  to  Avignon  and 
its  value  to  the  Kings  of  France — all  these  questions 
demanded  thought  of  one  who  aspired  to  be  a  ruler  in 
fourteenth-century  Europe.  That  John  of  Gaunt  had 
the  capacity  to  become  a  statesman  his  history  unfor 
tunately  disproves  ;  but  one  principle  at  least  forced 
itself  upon  him  during  the  mission  of  1364, 

Wycliffe  would  have  seen,  and  seen  with  shame  and 
anger,  the  incongruity  between  the  theory  and  practice 
of  the  head  of  Catholic  Christendom,  now  using  and  now 
withholding  for  political  purposes  a  power  claiming 
divine  sanction.  Lancaster  felt  no  such  incongruity, 
but  he  had  learnt  the  value  of  an  ally  in  the  Papal  Court. 
The  Papacy  had  turned  the  scale  against  England  and 
snatched  the  prize  from  her  grasp.  It  was  better  to  have 
the  Pope  for  a  friend  than  for  a  foe*  This  power  he  spared 
no  effort  to  conciliate,  and  when  the  time  came  he  was 
able  to  enlist  the  forces  of  the  Papacy  to  serve  his  am 
bition  and  to  use  the  spiritual  weapons  of  the  Church  to 
fight  in  his  cause, 

Chapter  III 


AFTER  the  mission  to  Flanders  in  1364  comes  a  period 
of  complete  inactivity  in  the  life  of  John  of  Gaunt. 
The  war  was  at  a  standstill,  and  attendance  at  two  short 
sessions  of  Parliament1  exhausted  the  Duke's  political 
cares.  Then  in  1366  he  abandoned  this  idleness, 
forced  upon  him  by  circumstances,  to  play  a  part  in  one 
of  the  great  enterprises  of  the  day. 

Or  n'est  pas  raison  que  je  faigne 

D'un  noble  voiage  d'Espaigne ; 

Mais  bien  est  raisons  que  horn  1'emprise  ; 

Car  ce  fut  la  plus  noble  emprise 

Que  onques  cristiens  emprist — 

So  writes  Chandos  Herald 2  of  the  invasion  of  Castile 
by  the  Black  Prince,  and  though  a  less  interested 
spectator  than  the  domestic  herald  of  Sir  John  Chandos 
may  not  hold,  perhaps,  that  the  undertaking  rivalled 
the  Crusades,  at  least  its  political  importance 
cannot  be  exaggerated.  The  story  takes  us  at  once 
from  the  Savoy  and  Kenilworth  to  Burgos  and  Valla- 
dolid ;  and  as  its  events  left  an  indelible  mark  on  the 
character  of  John  of  Gaunt,  and  determined  the  trend 

i  The  Duke  was  summoned  to  the  Parliaments  which  sat  at 
Westminster  from  January  20  to  February  24,  1365,  and  May  4 
to  May  12,  1366.  Rot.  ParL  H,  283-8  and  289-93  ;  Dugdale, 
Summons,  269;  272, 

a  Chandos  Herald,  1638  42, 



of  his  ambition,  diverting  it  from  its  natural  channels, 
it  becomes  necessary  to  plunge  into  the  politics  of  the 
Spanish  peninsula  and  to  unravel  the  threads  of  the 
dynastic  history  of  Castile  and  Leon  which,  a  few  years 
later,  Lancaster  himself  helped  to  tangle. 

In  the  fourteenth  century  the  Iberian  peninsula 
contained  five  independent  kingdoms.  Two  centuries 
of  uninterrupted  conquest  had  driven  the  Moors,  once 
masters  of  all  but  the  impregnable  highlands  of  the 
Asturias,  southwards,  and  penned  them  within  the 
narrow  limits  of  Granada  in  the  south-east,  a  refuge 
permitted  to  the  waning  fortunes  of  the  Crescent,  until 
a  century  later  the  united  forces  of  the  Christian  kingdoms 
drove  them  out  of  Spain.  In  the  east  the  three  provinces 
of  Aragon,  Valencia  and  Catalonia  made  up  the  kingdom 
of  Aragon :  in  the  west,  within  the  same  frontiers  as 
those  of  to-day,  lay  Portugal.  The  little  kingdom  of 
Navarre,  leaning  on  the  support  of  a  foreign  dynasty,1 
maintained  its  independence  in  the  north,  hemmed  in 
on  all  sides  by  more  powerful  neighbours,  from  whom 
it  was  marked  off  by  differences  of  race,  language  and 

But  Navarre,  though  inferior  to  the  other  kingdoms  in 
material  strength,  was  one  of  the  most  important  factors 
in  Peninsular  politics,  for  the  Lord  of  Pampeluna  was 
also  master  of  Roncevalles  ;  he  held  the  keys  of  Spain 
in  his  hands,  and  could  open  or  close  the  doors  of  the 
Pyrenees  to  the  invader.  The  centre  and  south-west  of 
Spain  was  subject  to  a  ruler  who  styled  himself  "  King 
of  Castile,  Leon,  Toledo,  Galicia,  Seville,  Cordova,  Murcia, 
Jaen,  Algarve  and  Algegiras,  Lord  of  Biscay  and  Molina," 
titles  which,  while  indicating  the  steps  by  which  his 

1  The  House  of  Champagne,  1250-1283  ;  the  royal  House  of 
France,  1283-1323;  then,  owing  to  the  absence  of  Salic  Law, 
the  House  of  £vreux,  1328-1425  ;  the  House  of  Aragon,  1425- 
1479 ;  finally,  the  House  of  Foix  and  Albret,  and  dismemberment. 



power  had  grown  up,  betray   at   the    same   time  the 
looseness  of  its  political  organization. 

When,  in  1350,  Alfonso  XI,  King  of  Castile  and  Leon, 
after  winning  Algeciras  from  the  Moors  and  adding  it  to 
his  dominions,  died  at  the  siege  of  Gibraltar,  the  great 
period  of  Castilian  expansion  ended.  The  kingdom  now 
needed  a  period  of  quiet  and  orderly  government,  in 
which  to  consolidate  its  strength ;  at  a  time,  however, 
when  the  firm  hand  of  a  strong  ruler  was  required,  the 
crown  devolved  upon  a  minor,  and  at  sixteen  years  of  age 
Alfonso's  son,  Pedro  I,  was  called  to  the  task  of  ruling  the 
most  ungovernable  race  in  Europe.  In  Spain,  where  the 
soil  had  been  won  field  by  field,  village  by  village,  from  the 
Moors,  political  organization  inevitably  took  a  military 
shape,  and  feudal  government  assumed  a  more  extreme 
form  than  was  to  be  found  elsewhere  in  Europe.  The 
mesne  tenant  owed  obedience  only  to  his  immediate 
overlord :  if  a  tenant  in  chief  led  his  men  against  the 
Crown,  what  in  him  was  treason  was  in  them  only  loyal 
performance  of  feudal  duty,  while  between  vassal  and 
vassal  the  right  of  private  warfare  had  a  legal  sanction. 
When  Pedro  succeeded,  the  central  authority  of  the 
Crown  was  a  pretence  and  government  might  appear 
a  visionary  ideal.  Yet,  from  the  task  of  governing,  a 
task  far  harder  than  that  of  his  father  Alfonso  the 
Conqueror,  or  than  that  of  Henry  II  and  Edward  I  of 
England,  who  had  the  Church  or  the  people  to  help 
them,  Pedro  did  not  shrink  :  he  made  a  deliberate 
effort  to  crush  disorder  and  its  cause,  the  independence 
of  the  nobles,  and  for  fifteen  years  struggled  with  the 
hydra  of  feudal  anarchy.  Unfortunately  his  most 
inveterate  enemies  were  those  of  his  own  blood,  for 
Alfonso  had  left  to  him  the  most  fatal  of  royal  inheri 
tances—the  legacy  of  a  dynastic  struggle.  Alfonso, 
for  political  motives,  had  married  his  cousin  Maria  of 
Portugal,  but  his  affections  were  bestowed  elsewhere. 



So  soon  as  the  Queen  had  borne  an  heir,  Don  Pedro, 
she  was  thrust  aside  to  make  place  for  the  beautiful 
Leonor  de  Guzman,  who  became  the  mother  of  a  line 
of  royal  bastards,  nine  sons  and  a  daughter,  the  eldest 
of  whom,  Enrique,  Count  of  Trastamare,  inevitably 
became  the  rival  of  his  legitimate  half-brother.  The 
position  was  invidious ;  it  was  accentuated  by  the  folly 
of  Alfonso,  who,  leaving  Queen  Maria  and  Pedro  the 
Infante  in  obscurity  and  neglect,  allowed  his  mistress 
to  keep  open  court  as  the  uncrowned  Queen  of  Castile, 
and  trained  his  bastard  sons  to  arms  and  a  public  career. 
Thus  the  earliest  lessons  taught  to  the  Infante  were 
those  of  a  deep  jealous  hatred  of  the  royal  mistress  and 
her  sons,  whose  position  was  an  insult  to  his  mother 
and  an  injustice  to  himself.  Yet  Pedro  began  his  reign 
with  moderation  and  attempts  to  conciliate.  It  was 
only  as  his  efforts  were  met  with  distrust  and  treachery 
that  his  temper  hardened,  and,  wearied  with  sham 
reconciliations  with  Enrique,  his  brothers  and  their  adher 
ents,  Pedro  adopted  harsher  measures.  Then  the  King's 
true  character  began  to  show  itself ;  ungovernable 
passion,  whether  of  hate  or  love,  swept  away  the  last 
restraints  imposed  by  conscience  or  policy ;  meeting 
treachery  on  all  sides,  he  answered  it  with  cunning ; 
whoever  thwarted  his  will  was  a  traitor,  and  in  the  code 
of  Pedro  the  Cruel  there  was  only  one  penalty — death, 
without  trial  or  sentence,  without  respite  or  delay. 

One  after  another  the  noble  families  of  Castile  reckoned 
a  kinsmazi  struck  down  by  the  King's  merciless  hand 
on  a  charge  of  disaffection  or  rebellion ;  blood-feuds 
multiplied,  but  anarchy  continued.  And,  not  content 
with  declaring  war  on  the  nobles,  the  King  alienated 
the  second  estate.  The  Church  was  the  enemy  of  a  ruler 
who  cared  nothing  for  ecclesiastical  privilege,  spared 
no  one  for  the  tonsure,  and  was  reputed  to  be  a  scoffer 
at  religion,  while  catholic  sentiment  and  racial  feeling 



alike  were  outraged  by  the  conduct  of  a  king  who 
protected  the  Jews  and  chose  his  ministers  from  them, 
and  who  openly  allied  himself  with  the  infidels  of  Granada. 
The  Church  and  the  nobles  were  against  him  ;  the  people 
alone  recognised  a  method  in  his  blood-madness,  and 
applauded  his  severity  to  their  oppressors,  but  in  Castile 
the  third  estate  was  as  useless  in  political  life,  as  its 
levies  were  helpless  on  the  field  of  battle.  Pedro  therefore 
stood  alone,  and,  to  complete  his  isolation,  he  had  forfeited 
the  support  of  foreign  powers.  He  had  consented  to 
marry  Blanche  of  Bourbon,  but  the  day  after  the  wedding 
he  repudiated  her  to  go  back  to  his  favourite  Maria  de 
Padilla,  to  whom  he  swore  that  he  had  been  secretly 
married,  and  when  Blanche  died  in  captivity  soon  after, 
the  guilt  of  blood  was  believed  to  rest  upon  the  King. 
This  France  did  not  forget.  Aragon,  too,  was  a  bitter 
enemy  of  the  Castilian  king,  who  had  become  involved 
in  a  long  frontier  struggle  with  his  most  powerful 

In  1365  Enrique  of  Trastamare,  who  had  fled  to 
France,  found  every  circumstance  favouring  the  attempt, 
which  he  had  long  been  planning,  to  overthrow  his  brother 
and  reign  in  his  stead.  When  the  Papal  summons  to 
Don  Pedro  to  appear  at  Avignon  and  answer  to  the 
charges  laid  against  him  had  been  contemptuously 
disregarded,  Urban  V,  declaring  Pedro  an  enemy  of 
the  faith,  "  bougre  et  incredule"  excommunicated 
him  and  gave  his  kingdom  to  his  half-brother.  The 
King  of  Aragon,  smarting  under  the  loss  of  his  frontier 
provinces,  offered  sympathy,  a  passage  through  his 
dominions  and  financial  support.  But  the  determining 
cause  of  Enrique's  success  lay  in  the  condition  of  France. 
From  the  time  of  the  Peace  dates  the  rise  of  the  "  free 
companies,"  who  under  their  English,  Gascon  or  Breton 
leaders  were  now  overrunning  France.  In  vain  Urban  V 
had  backed  the  invitation  of  the  King  of  Hungary, 



who  wished  to  lead  the  companies  against  the  Turk ; 
at  ease  in  "  their  chamber,"  as  they  called  France, 
they  preferred  devastation  of  Christian  provinces  to 
the  less  profitable  glories  of  a  crusade.  When,  however, 
the  prospect  of  enriching  themselves  in  the  yet  un- 
plundered  provinces  south  of  the  Pyrenees  was  offered, 
they  accepted  gladly.1 

In  December,  1365,  Enrique  found  himself  at  the 
head  of  a  formidable  mercenary  army,  consisting  of 
French  men  at  arms,  free  companies  and  volunteers 
from  Gascony,  Brittany,  and  even  from  England,  for  Jean 
de  Bourbon  and  the  Marshal  of  France  marched  side  by 
side  with  Sir  Hugh  Calverley,  Eustace  d'Aubr6cicourt, 
and  the  Sieur  d'Albret.2  Urban  V  had  bestowed  his 
blessing  and,  less  willingly,  a  contribution  of  two  hundred 
thousand  francs  on  the  companies,  whom  a  few  months 
earlier  he  had  cursed,  and  the  army  marched  through 
Perpignan  and  the  eastern  gate  of  the  Pyrenees  to 
Barcelona,  where  on  New  Year's  day,  1366,  the  King 
of  Aragon  f£ted  the  leaders  and  paid  a  subsidy  to  the 
troops.  Thence,  with  an  insolent  summons  to  Don 
Pedro  to  open  the  passes  to  the  Pilgrims  of  God  marching 
to  avenge  the  faith  and  destroy  the  infidels  of  Granada, 
the  invaders  advanced  to  Saragossa,  up  the  valley  of 
the  Ebro,  which  they  crossed  at  Alfaro,  to  Calahorra, 
maintaining  the  name  of  Crusaders  by  plundering  and 
murdering  all  the  Jews  whom  they  found.  At  Calalaorra, 
on  March  22,  the  bastard  was  proclaimed  Enrique  II ; 
then,  advancing  unopposed  to  Navarette,  he  sacked 
Briviesca  and  continued  his  victorious  march  to  Burgos 

1  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  80-95  ;  Chandos  Herald,  1668-1773 
Ayala,  i,  395-402. 

2  The  loyalty  of  the  English  and  Gascon  contingent  is  not 
above  suspicion.    According  to  Ayala  the  Sieur  d'Albret  offered 
to  detach  the  Gascons  and  join  Don  Pedro,  but  Pedro  would 
not  pay  for  his  services  :   non  era  usado  de  partir  sus  tesoros. 
Ayala,  i.  398,  cf.  i.  405. 



itself.  It  was  at  Burgos  that  Pedro  had  been  concen 
trating  ;  but  when  the  usurper  was  almost  upon  him, 
his  nerve  failed.  The  summons  to  arms  had  met  with 
a  poor  response,  and  even  among  those  who  had  come 
to  protest  their  loyalty,  Pedro  knew  that  many  were 
only  waiting  their  time  to  desert, 

On  March  28,  in  spite  of  the  entreaties  of  the  city, 
Pedro  abandoned  Burgos  and  fled  precipitately  south 
wards  to  Seville.1  In  the  hour  of  need  the  King  bethought 
him  of  his  cousin  of  Portugal,  whose  son  had  been 
betrothed  to  Beatrix,  the  eldest  of  Pedro's  daughters, 
Infanta  of  Castile.  But  the  King  of  Portugal  declined 
to  help  him,  and  sent  back  the  Infanta  and  her  dowry, 
and  the  utmost  that  Pedro  could  obtain  was  a  safe 
conduct  through  Portugal  to  the  north.  Taking  his 
daughters  with  him,  and  as  much  treasure  as  he  could 
collect,  the  King  fled  to  Albuquerque,  to  find  its  gates 
shut  in  his  face,  and  thence  through  Chaves  and  Lamego 
to  Monterrey.  There  he  stood  at  the  parting  of  the  ways, 
for  in  Galicia  he  was  still  king.  Logrofio,  too,  com 
manding  the  Ebro  and  the  Burgos  road,  was  still  holding 
out  for  the  legitimist  cause.  To  march  on  this  faithful 
city,  and  rally  his  forces  for  a  campaign,  was  the  advice 
of  his  trusted  adviser,  the  governor  of  Galicia,  Fernando 
de  Castro,  brother  of  the  Inez  de  Castro  famous  in  the 
annals  of  Portugal  and  the  verse  of  Camoens.  But 
Pedro  despaired,  and  not  without  reason.  For  the 
Bastard's  advance  had  been  one  of  triumph ;  crowned 
at  Las  Huelgas  on  April  5,  he  had  received  the  homage 
of  nearly  all  the  hidalgos  of  Castile  at  his  court  at  Burgos, 
where  he  rewarded  their  support  with  a  lavish  generosity 
which  won  him  the  name  Enrique  "  el  Magnifico."  Then, 
turning  south,  he  had  won  Toledo,  and  as  Pedro  was 
flying  north,  had  established  himself  in  Cordova  and 

1  Ayala,  i.  402-406;  Chandos  Herald,  1774-1815;  Froissart, 
K.  de  L.  vii.  95-115. 



Seville.1  Pedro  was  convinced  that  resistance  was  hope 
less.  From  Monterrey  he  had  written  the  story  of  his 
misfortunes  to  Prince  Edward ;  he  now  advanced 
to  Coruna,  and  without  awaiting  the  arrival  of  the 
envoys  sent  to  meet  him  by  the  Prince,  took  ship, 
coasted  to  San  Sebastian  and  landed  at  Bayonne,  where 
he  found  Sir  Thomas  Felton,  Seneschal  of  Aquitaine, 
waiting  to  receive  him.2 

Prince  Edward  himself  rode  out  of  Bordeaux  to  meet 
the  royal  exile,  and  by  the  cordiality  of  his  welcome 
showed  that  he  had  already  formed  his  decision  on  what 
was  perhaps  the  most  fateful  issue  ever  presented  to 
him — the  decision  to  espouse  the  quarrel  of  the  dethroned 

The  Prince's  motives  betray  a  mixture  of  policy 
and  sentiment  which  is  characteristic  of  the  age.  The 
Treaty  of  Calais,  as  every  one  knew,  could  not  last  for 
ever,  and  if,  when  war  broke  out  again,  France  were 
to  be  supported  by  a  friendly  dynasty  in  Castile,  and 
Aquitaine,  fearing  for  her  lines  of  communication  by 
sea,  were  to  be  surrounded  north,  east  and  south  by 
hostile  powers,  the  Prince's  position  would  be  one  of 
extreme  danger.  But  apart  from  considerations  of 
policy,  two  motives  powerfully  inclined  the  Black  Prince 
to  support  Don  Pedro — his  feeling  for  royalty  and  his 
feeling  for  legitimate  birth.  To  Spanish  law  and  Spanish 
sentiment  bastardy  might  be  a  matter  of  small  moment, 
but  in  England  and  France  this  was  not  so.  The  Prince 
saw  in  Don  Pedro  the  representative  of  legitimate 
royalty,  and  in  the  usurpation  of  Don  Enrique  an  outrage 
upon  the  social  order. 

"  Ce  n'est  pas  cose  affSrant  deue  ne  raisomiable  ffnn 
bastart  tenir  royaulme  et  hiretage,  et  bouter  hors  de  son 

1  Ayala,  i.  406-412  ;   421-430. 

2  Ibid.  i.  430-33  ;    Chandos  Herald,    1816-1963  ;     Froissart, 
K.  de  L.  vii.  94-117. 



royaulme  et  hiretage  un  sien  frere,  roy  et  hoir  de  la  terre 
par  loyal  manage  ;  et  tout  roy  et  enfant  de  roy  ne  te  doient 
nullement  voloir  ne  consentir,  car  c'est  uns  grans  prejudisces 
contre  Pestat  royal."  * 

So  argued  the  Prince  of  Wales,  who  before  all  his 
other  titles  styled  himself  "  Eldest  son  of  the  King 
of  England." 

The  project  of  restoring  a  dethroned  king  was  a  matter 
of  policy  and  principle.  It  fell  in  too  with  the  Black 
Prince's  humour  of  knight-errantry.  Was  there  not  a 
prophecy,  as  old  as  Merlin's  age,  which  foretold  that 
the  Leopards  of  England,  known  to  the  fields  of 
Cr6cy  and  Maupertuis,  should  some  day  float  over  the 
battlefields  of  Spain  ?  In  vain  the  brave  but  cautious 
Sir  John  Chandos,  who  had  refused  to  take  part  in 
the  expedition  of  1366,  now  gave  his  voice  against  a 
policy  which  would  divide  the  forces  of  England.  Pedro's 
appeal  for  help  was  accepted  by  a  Parliament  at  Bordeaux 
and  referred  to  the  home  government.  At  the  council 
which  listened  to  the  Prince's  proposal  and  the  apologia 
delivered  by  Don  Pedro's  envoys,  the  Duke  of  Lancaster 
was  present ;  he  gave  his  vote  in  favour  of  the  project 
to  support  the  legitimate  king  and  check  the  growing 
influence  of  France  in  the  Peninsula,  and  he  accompanied 
the  envoys  who  returned  to  Aquitaine  with  the  royal 

At  Bayonne  in  September,  1366,  a  second  Parliament 
discussed  the  invasion  of  Castile.  There  were  two  routes 
by  which  a  mounted  force  could  enter  Spain :  the  eastern 
door,  by  which  Enrique  had  entered,  and  the  western 
door  which  alone  was  practicable  from  Aquitaine.  Charles 
the  Bad,  King  of  Navarre,  therefore,  was  invited  to  the 
meeting  of  the  Gascon  barons,  and  asked  to  name  his 

1  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  107. 

2  Orders   to   arrest   ships   for    Lancaster's    passage,    dated 
September  16,  1366.    Rot.  Gasc.  i,  154  (Carte). 



price  for  opening  the  pass  of  Roncevalles,1  The  cession 
of  a  couple  of  provinces  and  half  a  dozen  frontier  towns 
on  the  part  of  Don  Pedro  bought  Charles'  adherence, 
and  in  consideration  of  two  hundred  thousand  florins 
he  agreed  to  open  the  passes  and  lead  two  thousand 
Navarrese  troops  in  the  invading  army. 

With  the  Gascon  barons,  as  with  the  King  of  Navarre, 
the  enterprise  was  purely  a  matter  of  business.  They 
were  perfectly  wiDing  to  fight  for  Don  Pedro,  as  many 
of  their  comrades  had  just  fought  against  him,  if  he 
made  it  worth  while,  and  when  the  exiled  king  talked 
freely  of  the  hidden  treasures  of  Castile,  the  Gascons 
needed  no  further  argument  to  convince  them  of  the 
divine  right  of  kings.  Pedro,  however,  was  without 
resources  for  the  time,  and  in  a  fatal  moment  Prince 
Edward  undertook  to  advance  not  only  Navarre's  bribe, 
but  the  pay  of  the  mercenary  army.2  This  debt  Pedro 
engaged  himself  to  repay  by  the  most  solemn  oaths, 
under  pain  of  excommunication  and  interdict,  and  until 
the  sum  should  be  discharged  he  agreed  to  leave  his 
daughters  at  Bordeaux,  with  the  families  of  the  Grand 
Master  of  Alcantara  and  the  Chancellor  of  Castile  by  way 
of  security,  while,  to  mark  his  sense  of  obligation  to  his 
generous  ally,  he  granted  Prince  Edward  the  province 
of  Biscay  and  Castro-Urdiales  in  full  sovereignty.3  A 

1  L'an  mccclxvi  en  hahost  bengo  lo  rey  Dempetro  d'Espanha 
de  Nabara  e  lo  rey  de  Malhorguas  e  lo  due  de  Bretanha  a  parlamen 
a  Bordeu,    Petite  Chronigue  de  Guyenne,  §55, 

2  The  articles  of  agreement  between  Prince  Edward,  Charles, 
King  of  Navarre,  and  Pedro,  King  of  Castile,  were  confirmed 
at  the  Friars  Minors,  Libourne,  September  23,  1366  (Foed,  vi. 
514-20),    The  Prince  advanced  20,000  florins,  the  first  instal 
ment  of  Navarre's  200,000  for  opening  the  passes,  and  36,000 
the  first  month's  pay  for  Navarre's  contingent  (ibid.  5 1 2-4) ; 
the  wages  of  the  Prince's  army,  viz.  550,000  florins  for  six  months' 
service,  were  to  be  repaid  at  Bordeaux  by  fixed  ^instalments  at 
specified  periods  within  the  next  two  years  (ibid.  528-31). 

3  The  donation,  dated  Libourne,  September  23,  was  witnessed 
by  Lancaster  (Foed.  vi.  521-3) ;  on  the  same  day  letters  com- 



commercial  concession  and  an  honorary  distinction  com 
pleted  the  expression  of  Pedro's  gratitude  ;  he  agreed 
that  all  English  subjects  should  be  quit  of  payment  of 
taxes  and  customs  (save  ordinary  octroi  dues)  through 
out  his  dominions,  and  he  granted  to  the  King  of  Eng 
land  and  his  heirs  in  perpetuity  the  right  of  fighting  in 
the  vaward  of  Castilian  armies,  ordaining  that  in  their 
absence  the  standard  of  England  should  be  borne 
"  honorifice  prout  decet"  with  the  standard  of 

The  alliance  was  sealed  and  the  die  was  cast.  Prince 
Edward  began  to  prepare  without  delay.  Reminded 
by  Chandos  that  taxation  would  be  an  unwise  method 
of  raising  the  supplies  he  needed,  the  Prince  commanded 
his  plate  to  be  melted  down,  summoned  back  his 
Gascon  and  English  subjects  from  Trastamare,  and 
sent  Chandos  to  negotiate  with  the  leaders  of  the  free 
companies,  while  John  of  Gaunt  went  back  to  England 
to  raise  a  body  of  men  for  the  compaign.2  Lancaster 
spared  no  cost  to  appear  worthily  in  his  brother's  army. 
To  raise  supplies  he  pledged  his  Honor  of  Richmond,3 
and  at  the  beginning  of  November  he  left  England  in 
command  of  a  compact  force  of  four  hundred  men-at- 
arms  and  six  hundred  archers,4  After  crossing  the 

manding  obedience  were  issued  to  the  judges,  alcaides  and 
sheriffs  of  the  ceded  territories  (ibid.  524-5),  and  powers  were 
given  to  Sir  John  Chandos  and  Sir  Thomas  Felton  to  take  pos 
session  (ibid.  525-7),  All  Pedro's  obligations  were  again  ratified 
at  Bayonne,  February  n,  1367  (ibid.  527-8;  528-31). 

1  Same  date  (Ibid.  531-3).     Ci  Brit.  Mus.  Cot.  Ch.  v.  i,  with 
a  fine  specimen  of  the  leaden  "  bulla  "  of  Castile. 

2  Chandos  Herald,  1964-2013  ;    Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  115- 
117  ;  120-123, 

3  Delpit,   Collection,  ccii.     Cf.   Great  Cowcher,   ii,  413,  dated 
Westminster,  November  5,  1366, 

*  I  store  et  Chroniques  de  Flandres,  ii,  102.  Orders  to  seiae 
ships  for  his  passage,  dated  October  20.  Rot.  Gasc.  154  (12) 



Channel  and  landing  in  Brittany,1  the  Duke  marched 
to  Nantes,  where  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Brittany 
gave  him  a  send-off,  crossed  the  Loire,  advanced  through 
Poitou  and  Saintonge,  and  crossing  the  Gironde  at 
Blaye  entered  the  capital  of  Aquitaine  just  a  week  after 
the  birth  of  the  Prince's  second  son,  Richard  of  Bordeaux, 
On  January  10  the  Black  Prince  had  left  Bordeaux  to 
take  command  of  his  army  concentrated  at  Dax,  and 
there  three  days  later  he  welcomed  John  of  Gaunt  (who 
had  stayed  in  Bordeaux  only  long  enough  to  greet  his 
sister-in-law),  and  the  fine  contingent  marching  under 
the  Lancastrian  banner,  the  only  force  in  the  army  all 
ranks  of  which  were  English.  On  the  eve  of  the  march 
the  Prince  gave  a  banquet  in  honour  of  his  brother's 
arrival,  and  there  Lancaster  for  the  first  time  met  the 
Count  of  Foix.  But  in  spite  of  festivities  and  the  high 
hopes  of  the  army,  the  moment  was  not  without  grave 
anxiety,  for  no  one  knew  what  game  the  King  of  Navarre 
was  playing.2 

At  Bayonne,  in  September,  1366,  he  had  sworn  to  open 
the  passes  to  the  Prince ;  at  Santa  Cruz  de  Campezo 
in  January,  1367,  for  the  same  bribe  he  swore  to  close 
them.  Committed  so  far  as  oaths  could  commit  him, 
first  to  the  Prince  and  then  to  Enrique,  Charles  the  Bad 
was  wondering  which  perjury  would  be  more  profitable 
and  less  dangerous.3  But  his  dream  of  impartially 
malevolent  neutrality  suffered  a  rough  awakening. 
Sir  Hugh  Calverly  had  been  the  last  to  leave  the  Bastard, 
in  obedience  to  the  Prince's  summons,  and  on  his  home 
ward  march  through  Navarre,  knowing  Charles'  double- 
dealing,  he  sacked  Miranda  del  Arga  aud  Puente  la 

1  Chandos  Herald  (2118)  says  he  marched  through  theCoten- 
tin ;   but  according  to  Froissart's  version  (K.  de  L,  vii.  149), 
the  Duke  landed  at  Saint  Mahieu  de  Fine  Poterne  (i.e.  Saint 
Mathieu  Fin-de-Terre). 

2  Chandos  Herald,  2014-2204. 

3  Ayala,  i.  434-6- 



Reina.1  Navarre  thus  convinced  as  to  the  side  on  which 
his  immediate  interest  lay,  sent  his  right-hand  man, 
Don  Martin  Henriquez  de  la  Carra,  to  Dax  with  his 
excuses.  With  some  difficulty  a  meeting  was  arranged 
between  Navarre  and  Lancaster  at  St.  Jean,  when  the 
Duke  persuaded  him  to  meet  the  allies,  whom  he  had 
betrayed,  at  Peyrehorade,  and  in  the  end  the  old  agree 
ments  were  renewed,  Navarre  was  held  to  his  first 
promise,  and  nothing  remained  to  hinder  the  advance.3 
It  was  bleak  winter  weather  when  on  Monday,  Feb 
ruary  15,  1367,  the  vaward  of  the  Prince's  army,  some 
ten  thousand  strong,  under  the  command  of  the  Duke 
of  Lancaster,  began  the  ascent  from  St.  Jean,  and  wind 
and  hail  beat  upon  horse  and  rider  as  the  long  line  wound 
through  the  famous  pass  where  more  than  five  centuries 
before  Roland  the  Paladin  had  fallen,  and  the  Basques 
had  cut  up  the  rearward  of  Charlemagne's  army.  But 
the  longest  day's  march  comes  to  an  end,  and  before 
nightfall  the  Duke  had  left  Roncevalles  behind  him, 
and  his  force,  descending  the  valley  of  the  Arga,  debouched 
upon  the  march  of  Pampeluna,  The  next  day,  when  the 
Prince,  with  Don  Pedro  and  the  unwilling  King  of  Navarre, 
led  the  centre  column  through  the  pass,  was  equally 
trying,  but  on  Wednesday,  I7th,  the  rearward,  under 
the  Gascon  Albret  and  the  dethroned  King  of  Majorca, 
had  better  weather.8  For  the  rest  of  the  week  the  army 
remained  round  Pampeltina,  enjoying  an  abundance 
of  provisions,  for  which  they  were  not  too  scrupulous 
in  paying.  Meanwhile  Charles  of  Navarre  was  in  an 

1  Chandos  Herald,  2193-6.  It  is  clear  that  this  was  done  on 
his  homeward  march,  for  Calverly  did  not  leave  Enrique  until 
after  the  meeting  with  Navarre  at  St.  Cruz.  (Ayala,  i.  437.) 
Froissart's  account  is  unintelligible,  and  leads  one  to  suppose 
that  Calverly  rushed  the  pass  of  Roncevalles,  which  was  of 
course,  impossible  (K.  de  L,  vii.  150-3). 

*  Chandos  Herald,  2205-2221. 

8  Ibid.  2221-2384. 



uncomfortable  position.  In  spite  of  his  diplomatic 
efforts  forty  thousand  men  were  in  his  kingdom,  most 
without  a  keen  sense  of  the  rights  of  property,  while 
he  himself  stood  committed  to  a  side,  and  he  was  by 
no  means  sure  that  it  was  the  winning  side.  It  was  a 
case  for  finesse.  From  Pampeluna  Tudela  was  not  far 
distant,  and  a  few  leagues  from  Tudela  lay  Borja  over 
the  frontier,  a  castle  given  by  the  King  of  Aragon  to 
Bertrand  du  Guesclin,  and  by  him  to  his  cousin  Olivier 
de  Mauni.  Navarre  arrived  at  an  understanding  with 
the  lord  of  Borja,  and,  by  accident,  rode  too  near  the 
frontier.  Unfortunately  he  was  captured,  and  there 
fore  could  take  no  farther  part  in  the  invasion ;  and  while 
Martin  de  la  Carra,  a  subordinate  who  could  be  dis 
owned,  took  command  of  the  Navarrese  contingent, 
the  Queen  of  Navarre  went  to  the  Prince  with  tears  in 
her  eyes  to  report  the  disaster  and  to  beg  for  his  rescue,1 

While  this  comedy  was  being  played  in  Navarre  the 
Castilian  scouts  were  not  idle.  Enrique  on  the  first 
news  of  the  Prince's  movements  had  left  Burgos  and 
concentrated  at  Santo  Domingo  de  la  Calzada,  on  the 
Pampeluna-Logrono-Burgos  road,  where  he  found  him 
self  in  command  of  some  sixty  thousand  troops  of  all 
arms,  heavy  Castilian  cavalry,  light  horse  and  infantry. 
His  mainstay,  however,  was  a  picked  body  of  French 
lances  two  thousand  strong  under  the  command  of  du 
Guesclin,  The  Bastard  was  confident  of  success,  and 
wrote  a  spirited  defiance  to  the  English  general.2 

Henceforward  the  movements  of  three  forces  have 
to  be  followed  ;  the  usurper's  army  lying  at  San  Domingo, 
the  main  body  of  Prince  Edward's  army  lying  at  Pam 
peluna,  and  a  flying  column  under  Sir  Thomas  Felton 
sent  to  keep  in  touch  with  the  enemy  and  report  their 

1  Chandos  Herald,  2476-99.      Froissart,  K.  de  L,  vii.   163-4. 
a  Ayala,  i.  438;   Froissart,  K,  de  L.  vii.  159-61;  Chandos 
Herald,  2385-447- 


Invasion  of  Castile  1367, 

March  or  Prince  Edward 
March  oF  Don  Enrique 

Invasion  of  Castile  1381, 

March  of  John  of  Gaunt 

English  Miles 

~gS       400 

Scale        KO  00,0  00 



movements.  This  latter  force  struck  south-west  at 
once,  and  relying  on  the  support  of  the  legitimist  strong 
hold  of  Logrono,  crossed  the  Ebro  there,  and  took  up 
a  position  at  Navarette,1  Meanwhile  the  Prince,  who 
had  resolved  to  follow  the  Pampeluna-Vit6ria-Burgos 
road,  was  advancing  through  Guipuzcoa  and  Alava 
under  the  guidance  of  Martin  de  la  Carra  and  his  native 
guides.  Traversing  the  pass  of  Arruiz,  the  army  reached 
Salvatierra  after  a  hard  march,  and  after  resting  there 
six  days  continued  unopposed  to  the  outskirts  of  Vit- 
6ria.2  Don  Enrique  on  his  part,  so  soon  as  the  line 
of  the  English  advance  became  clear,  broke  up  his  camp 
at  San  Domingo,  marched  north  to  Banares,  crossed 
the  Ebro,  and  took  up  a  strong  position  at  Afiastro, 
near  Treviiao,  thus  throwing  himself  across  the  road 
from  Vit&ria  to  Burgos,  while  Sir  Thomas  Felton,  re 
gaining  the  left  bank  of  the  Ebro,  rode  north  to  rejoin 
the  army  between  Salvatierra  and  Vit6ria  with  the  news 
of  the  enemy's  movements.3 

The  two  armies,  though  hidden  from  each  other  by 
the  rising  ground  between  them,  were  now  within  strik 
ing  distance,  and  an  action  seemed  imminent.  Warned 
by  his  scouts  of  the  enemy's  arrival,  the  Prince  mar 
shalled  his  army  for  battle,  and,  in  accordance  with  the 
usual  custom,  went  through  the  ceremony  of  making 
new  knights.  With  two  hundred  Englishmen  and  Gas 
cons  the  King  of  Castile  received  knighthood  at  the 

1  Chandos  Herald,  2448-75  ;  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  161-3  ; 
Ayala,  L  438.  I  dissent  from  the  conclusion  of  M.  Luce  (Froissart, 
vol.  vii.  Introduct.  p.  vii.),  who  thinks  that  the  Navarette  in 
question  is  a  town  of  that  name  in  Alava  on  the  Salvatierra  road. 
If  the  statement  given  above  rested  on  the  evidence  of  Froissart 
alone  it  might  be  rejected,  but  Chandos  Herald  is  explicit,  and 
cannot  be  set  aside.  Moreover,  considering  the  position  of  the 
enemy,  the  other  identification  is  impossible. 

a  Chandos  Herald,  2500-21  ;    Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.   164-6, 
3  Chandos  Herald,  2523-78  ;    Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  166-9 ; 
Luce,  vol.  vii.  Introd,  ix, 



hand  of  the  Black  Prince,  while  John  of  Gaunt  also 
gave  the  accolade  to  a  dozen  captains  of  his  division. 
It  was  an  anxious  moment,  for  the  rearward  of  the  Prince's 
army  was  some  seven  leagues  away  to  the  east,  and  had 
the  enemy  attacked  they  could  never  have  come  into 
action.  But  no  attack  was  delivered,  and  after  standing 
to  arms  until  nightfall  the  troops  were  dismissed  to 
their  quarters.1 

The  next  day  an  incident  occurred  which  might  have 
proved  serious.  Don  Tello,  the  Rupert  of  the  Castilian 
army,  a  dashing  but  untrustworthy  leader  of  light  horse, 
got  together  a  body  of  some  six  thousand  men,  and  left 
the  Bastard's  camp  before  dawn  to  reconnoitre  the 
Prince's  position,  and  to  see  what  mischief  could  be  done. 
Successfully  evading  the  Prince's  pickets,  he  fell  upon 
an  outpost  of  the  first  division,  and  then,  after  cutting 
up  some  of  Calverly's  men  stationed  there,  advanced 
to  the  centre  of  the  line.  Soon,  however,  he  had  to 
beat  a  retreat,  for  at  the  first  alarm  Lancaster  had  come 
out  of  his  tent  fully  armed,  and  displaying  his  standard 
had  rallied  his  men.  The  attack,  thanks  to  the  readi 
ness  of  John  of  Gaunt, 2  had  failed,  but  Don  Tello  had 
not  finished  yet. 

The  chief  disadvantage  of  the  Prince's  position  was 
the  difficulty  of  getting  supplies,  and  it  was  the  necessity 
of  foraging  far  afield  which  led  to  the  first  and  only 
reverse  of  the  campaign.  For  while  the  army  lay  on  the 
south-east  side  of  Vit6ria  facing  Sant  Roman,  Sir 
Thomas  Felton,  with  a  couple  of  hundred  men,  had 

1  Chandos  Herald,  2579-2641  ;  Ayala,  i.  447  ;  Froissart, 
vii.  168-173. 

2  L&  eust  est6,  si  Dieux  me  garde 
Forment  supprise  1'avant-garde, 
Si  n'eust  este  li  francs  dues 
De  Lancastre,  plein  de  vertus.  .  .  . 

Chandos  Herald,  2647-2720  ;  Ayala,  i.  445-6 ;  Froissart,  K.  de 
L.  vii.  173-7. 



been  sent  westwards  in  search  of  provisions,  and,  as 
ill-luck  would  have  it,  at  Arinez  he  fell  in  with  Don 
Tello's  brigade  fresh  from  their  exploit  in  beating  up 
Lancaster's  camp.  Felton  was  at  once  surrounded, 
but,  in  spite  of  fearful  odds,  fought  the  Spaniards 
with  dogged  determination  from  morning  to  nightfall. 
It  was  only  after  French  men-at-arms  had  been  brought 
up  to  reinforce  Tello's  genetours  that  the  little  band  of 
English  and  Gascons  was  overpowered.  Half  of  their 
number,  including  Felton's  brother,  had  fallen;  the 
rest  were  taken  prisoners,  after  fighting  all  day  with  a 
heroic  courage  which  has  never  been  forgotten,  for  to 
this  day  the  spot  where  they  made  their  last  stand 
retains  the  name  of  "  Inglesmendi,"  or  the  <£  Grave  of 
the  English."  * 

These  two  successes,  trivial  as  they  were,  buoyed  the 
hopes  of  Enrique,  who,  hailing  them  as  the  prelude  to 
a  general  defeat  of  the  invading  army,  could  not  be 
brought  to  listen  to  the  advice  sent  him  by  Charles  V 
and  urged  upon  him  by  his  French  officers— to  avoid  a 
pitched  battle,  and  by  closing  the  passes  round  Vitoria 
to  starve  the  English  general  into  surrender.  Only 
disaster  had  taught  Charles  V  theJesson  of  inaction,  and 
Enrique  had  yet  to  learn  his  lesson  in  the  same  school. 
It  is  true  that,  as  often  happens,  the  Castilian  general 
was  forced  to  qualify  military  conclusions  by  political 
considerations.  The  dynasty  of  Trastamare  was  only  a 
year  old  ;  it  had  yet  to  prove  its  title,  and  in  view  of  the 
desertion  2  from  the  ranks  which  had  taken  place  (and 
was  to  continue),  it  seemed  imperative  to  strike  a  de 
cisive  blow.  But  the  course  actually  adopted  had  all 
the  faults  of  a  compromise;  Enrique  refused  to  block 
the  passes  and  trust  to  inaction ;  he  refused  also  to 
sacrifice  the  advantage  of  a  strong  position  and  attack, 

*  Chandos  Herald,  2642-6,  2721-2821  ;   Froissart  K.  de  L.  vii. 
177-84;  Ayala,  i.  446. 
3  Ayala,  i.  439  and  454. 



and  he  forgot  that  there  was  more  than  one  road  to 

A  cold,  wet  and  stormy  March  had  caused  intense 
suffering  in  the  Prince's  camp,  where  every  one  was  on 
short  rations,  The  road  vid  Miranda  to  Burgos  was 
blocked,  and  every  foraging  party  that  left  the  lines  was 
cut  up.  The  enemy  held  a  strong  position,  and  showed 
no  signs  of  intending  to  abandon  it.  So  the  Prince  decided, 
after  a  week's  delay  before  Vit6ria,  to  change  his  line 
of  advance,  and  by  manoeuvre  to  regain  the  superiority 
of  position.  Suddenly  breaking  up  his  camp,  he  doubled 
back  by  a  forced  march  to  the  south-east  over  the  Sierra 
de  Cantabria  by  the  pass  of  La  Guardia  to  Viana,  and 
thence  after  breathing  his  army  for  a  couple  of  days, 
marched  into  Logrono.  The  faithful  city  which  com 
manded  the  passage  of  the  Ebro  deserved  well  of  Don 
Pedro,  for  it  was  the  loyalty  of  Logrono  alone  which 
enabled  the  Prince  to  undertake  this  brilliant  flank 
march  which  had  completely  changed  the  position.38 

The  Bastard  was  compelled  to  abandon  his  position 
at  Anastro,  and  crossing  the  Ebro  at  San  Vicente  to 
march  to  the  south  and  throw  himself  once  more  across 
the  line  of  the  Prince's  advance  from  Logrono  to  Burgos. 
The  position  which  he  chose  was  at  Najera,  where  the 
river  Najarilla,  a  tributary  of  the  Ebro,  protected  his 

Meanwhile  the  Prince  advanced  from  Logrono  to 
Navarette,  and  it  was  there  that  on  April  I  he  sent  a 
letter 3  to  the  Bastard  in  answer  to  the  challenge  which 
had  reached  him  at  Pampeluna.  The  cause  of  legitimate 
royalty  as  much  as  Don  Pedro's  misfortunes  and  the 
traditional  alliance  of  England  and  Castile  had  forced 

i  Chandos  Herald,  2822-73  J  Ayala,  i.  443-5. 

a  Chandos  Herald,  2874-63  ;  Ayala,  i.  447-8 ;  Froissart,  K  de 
L,  vii,  184-7. 

3  Chandos  Herald,  2894-3140;  Ayala,  i.  448-50;  Froissart,  K, 
de  L.  vii.  187-91  ;  Foed,  vl  554-5. 



him  to  intervene  in  the  struggle ;  Enrique  was  in  arms 
against  the  lawful  sovereign  to  whom  he  had  sworn 
obedience,  and  unless  he  would  consent  to  lay  down 
his  arms  and  accept  the  Prince's  mediation,  the  quarrel 
must  be  referred  to  the  arbitrament  of  the  sword. 

A  dignified  reply,  dictated  in  the  royal  palace  of  Najera 
on  April  2,  set  forth  the  usurper's  apology.  Pedro's 
misgovernment  was  notorious,  and  Enrique  would  not 
abandon  his  self -chosen  part  of  the  deliverer  of  Castile.1 

With  this  the  Bastard  crossed  the  Najarilla  and  took 
up  a  position  in  the  open  plain  between  Najera  and 
Navarette,  where  he  could  have  free  play  for  his  mounted 
men,  and  prepared  for  battle,  while  the  Prince  on  the 
morning  of  Saturday,  April  3,  advanced  to  meet  him.2 

The  Prince's  army  was  marshalled  in  three  divisions  : 
the  vaward  under  the  command  of  the  Duke  of  Lan 
caster,  with  Sir  John  Chandos  at  his  right  hand ;  the 
centre  under  the  Prince  himself,  with  two  wings  com 
manded  by  the  Captal  de  Buch  and  Sir  Henry  Percy 
respectively ;  the  rearward  under  the  King  of  Majorca 
and  the  Gascon  Armagnac,  the  three  divisions  and  the 
two  wings  being  flanked  on  either  side  by  a  strong  force 
of  archers,  and  the  whole  force,  numbering  some  twenty 
thousand  men,  half  men-at-arms  and  half  archers,  all 
dismounted.  On  the  Spanish  Side  only  the  vaward 
was  dismounted.  This,  consisting  of  about  two  thousand 
men-at-arms,  was  composed  of  the  French  auxiliaries 
and  a  picked  body  of  Castilian  men-at-arms,  including 
the  Knights  of  the  Scarf  (the  Castilian  Garter),  the 
whole  being  under  the  command  of  Bertrand  du  Guesclin. 

1  Ayala,  i.  450-53  ;  Foed,  vi,  556-7. 

2  Sec  Professor  Oman's  exhaustive  account  in   the  Art  of 
War  (Middle  Ages},  pp.  637-48,  and  in  addition  to  the  authorities 

.quoted  cf.  Chr.  Reg,  Franc,  ii.  324-30;  Guillaume  de  Nangis 
(Cont),  ii,  368  ;  Chr.  VaL  167 ;  I  store  et  Chroniques  de  Flandres, 
ii.  102;  Petit  Thalamus,  376;  Chr,  AngL  57-60;  Wals. 
i.  302-6  ;  Kn,  121-3  ;  Eulog.  333-4. 



Enrique  commanded  the  centre  in  person  ;  it  con 
sisted  oi  about  lifteen  hundred  mounted  knights,  and 
was  supported  by  two  wings,  the  left  led  by  Don  Tello, 
and  the  right  by  the  Count  of  Denia  and  the  Grand 
Master  of  Calatrava.  In  the  rear  was  stationed  a  mob 
of  Castilian  infantry,  who  proved  useless  in  the  battle 
and  an  encumbrance  in  the  flight.1 

The  battle  array  must  have  presented  a  fine  picture. 
Chandos  Herald  had  seen  many  a  battle,  but  none  like 
this,  for  in  his  own  words — 

"Cinques  tel  mcrvaille  ne  fu, 
Ne  tiel  plent6  d6  pocple  vu 
Come  il  ot  a  cele  jcmrn6e. 
La  ot  mainte  baniere  ouvr6e 
Qui  fu  de  cendal  ct  dc  soye  fi-~ 

and  Froissart,  who,  in  spite  of  his  eagerness  to  follow 
the  army  over  the  Pyrenees,  had  been  sent  back  from 
Dax  to  Bordeaux  when  the  march  began,  from  the 
Abbey  of  St.  Andrew  conjures  up  the  picture  of  the 
battlefield  on  that  fateful  day,  when  for  the  first  time 
Castile  was  to  feel  the  force  of  English  archery,  while 
even  the  dull  prose  of  Ayala's  narrative  warms  into  life 
as  he  writes  of  the  day  when,  bearing  the  banner  of  the 
Knights  of  the  Scarf,  he  saw  the  red  cross  of  St.  George 
flutter  over  the  crests  of  the  English  knights,  and  heard 
the  battle-cries  "Guyenne,  St,  George!"  and  "Castile, 
Sant  lago  ! "  ring  in  his  ears  as  the  two  hosts  met  in 
the  shock  of  battle. 

As  the  signal  was  given  Lancaster  pushed  forward 
his  archers,  who  poured  a  deadly  fire  into  the  ranks 
of  the  enemy,  enfilading  the  Castilian  vaward  as  it  ad 
vanced.  Yet  in  spite  of  this  fusilade,  for  which  the 
slingers  and  bowmen  of  the  enemy  were  no  match, 
Lancaster's  division  was  borne  back  a  spear's  length 

1  "  Pero  aprovecharon  muy  poco  en  esta  batalla,  ca  toda  la 
pelea  fue  en  los  omes  de  armas."    Ayala,  i  442. 
Chandos  Herald,  3075-9. 



as  du  Guesclin's  Frenchmen  charged  home,  and  for  a 
moment  the  English  van  wavered.  Soon,  however, 
they  held  their  own  again,  and  the  two  lines  remained 
locked  together  in  a  desperate  struggle.  It  was  the 
disgraceful  conduct  of  the  two  wings  which  decided 
the  battle.  Appalled  by  the  English  archery,  Don 
Tello  never  drove  his  charge  home,  and  after  the  first 
onset  galloped  off  the  field.  His  loyalty  to  Don  Enrique 
is  not  above  suspicion,  and  it  is  more  than  probable 
that  on  the  day  of  the  battle  he  was  thinking  more  of 
his  own  cherished  ambition  of  maintaining  an  inde 
pendent  position  in  his  northern  lordship  of  Biscay  than 
of  the  cause  of  Trastamare,  However  this  may  be,  the 
right  wing  made  no  better  show,  the  Count  of  Denia 
was  wounded  and  captured,  and  the  Prince,  though 
he  had  made  no  attempt  to  outflank  the  enemy,  was 
able  by  wheeling  in  his  two  wings  to  produce  the  same 
effect.  When  Percy  and  the  Captal  de  Buch  fell  upon 
du  Guesclin's  right  and  left  the  issue  was  certain,  and 
by  the  time  the  second  lines  got  into  action  the 
battle  was  virtually  decided.  In  vain  Don  Enrique 
with  magnificent  courage  attempted  to  rally  his  men, 
three  times  leading  a  charge  in  person.  The  Spaniards 
were  flying,  and  though  du  Guesclin's  Frenchmen  and 
the  Knights  of  the  Scarf  stood  their  ground  and  fought 
until  they  were  all  killed  or  captured,  the  battle  was 
lost,  and  the  army  was  routed*  It  was  in  the  pursuit, 
as  usual,  that  the  greatest  carnage  took  place.  The 
narrow  bridge  over  the  Najarilla  was  choked  by  the 
infantry,  who  had  been  the  first  to  fly,  and  hundreds 
of  the  Bastard's  cavalry  were  cut  down  as  they  fled  or 
drowned  as  they  attempted  to  cross  the  river,  and  eye 
witnesses  described  how  from  Najera  to  the  Ebro  the 
stream  was  red  with  the  blood  of  the  slain.1 

1  Chandos    Herald,   3141-3455  ;   Ayala,    i.    453  ;  Froissart, 
K,  de  L.  vii,  191-219. 



So  was  won  the  last  and  greatest  victory  of  the  Black 
Prince,  a  victory  which  sent  a  thrill  of  admiration  through 
Europe,  compelling  friend  and  foe  to  see  in  Edward 
Plantagenet  what  Froissart  saw  in  him :  "la  fleur  de 
toute  la  chevalerie  dou  monde."  Not  only  in  England, 
where  Najera  was  celebrated  with  a  tumultuous  extra 
vagance  of  joy,  but  in  Flanders  and  the  Low  Countries 
and  in  all  the  states  of  the  Empire  the  prowess  of  the 
Black  Prince  was  the  subject  of  universal  acclamation,1 
mingled  in  France  alone  with  other  feelings— regret  for 
the  hundreds  of  brave  men  who  lay  lifeless  on  the  field 
of  battle,  dismay  at  the  captivity  of  the  heroic  Bertrand 
du  Guesclin.  The  victory  which  brought  such  fame  to 
Prince  Edward  filled  his  ally  with  a  savage  exultation. 
One  day  had  given  him  back  his  kingdom  and  placed 
in  his  hand  the  lives  of  those  who  had  driven  him  from 
the  throne  to  exile.  So  at  least  Pedro  hoped,  as,  for 
getting  his  oath  that  no  Castilian  should  suffer  death 
save  for  proved  treason,  he  began  to  give  way  to  the 
blood-thirst  which  possessed  him.  On  the  very  day 
of  the  battle  he  had  met  one  of  the  Bastard's  most  not 
able  supporters,  Inigo  Lopez  de  Orozco,  who  had  sur 
rendered  to  a  Gascon  knight,  and  in  spite  of  the  indignant 
protest  of  the  captor,  whose  honour  was  pledged  to 
protect  the  Castilian,  the  king  had  set  upon  him,  and 
struck  him  dead  with  his  own  hand.2  In  vain  the  Prince 
complained  of  this  violation  of  the  compact,  asking 
Don  Pedro  if  such  were  the  spirit  in  which  he  intended 
to  fulfil  his  engagements,  and  warning  him  that  he  must 
learn  gentler  methods  if  he  would  keep  his  throne,  for 
the  next  day  the  King  put  forward  a  transparent  pro 
posal  to  buy  all  Castilian  prisoners  from  their  captors, 
and  when  his  offer  was  contemptuously  rejected,  pas 
sionately  declared  that  the  Prince  was  robbing  him  of 

1  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  227. 

2  Ayala,  i.  458,  471. 



the  fruits  of  the  victory.  The  restoration  was  only  a 
day  old,  and  already  the  allies  were  seriously  estranged, 
for  with  Pedro  gratitude  was  lost  in  the  deeper  feeling 
of  disappointed  revenge.  In  a  few  days  this  estrange 
ment  had  ripened  into  a  scarcely  veiled  hostility.  On 
Monday,  April  5,  the  king  rode  from  the  battlefield 
where  the  army  had  bivouacked  in  the  enemy's  deserted 
camp,  straight  to  Burgos ;  the  Prince  halted  for  a  couple 
of  days  in  Briviesca,  and  did  not  reach  Burgos  until  the 
7th,  when  he  was  quartered  in  the  Convent  of  Las  Huelgas, 
where  a  year  before  the  rebels  had  proclaimed  Enrique  II, 
while  Lancaster  was  received  in  the  Dominican  Monastery 
of  San  Pablo.1 

It  was  not  long  before  further  ill-feeling  resulted  from 
the  false  position  of  the  allies.2  Technically  the  Prince 
was  merely  a  mercenary  in  the  service  of  the  Castilian 
King,3  but  he  bore  himself  like  a  victorious  general  in 
a  conquered  country.4  Nothing  could  have  been  more 
certain  to  arouse  Perdo's  jealous  pride,  while  the  Prince 
on  his  part  did  not  scruple  to  show  what  he  thought  of 
the  honour  of  his  ally.  It  had  been  arranged  that  all 
the  engagements  entered  into  at  Bayonne  in  September, 
1366,  and  confirmed  at  Libourne  and  again  at  Bayonne 
just  before  the  start,  should  be  publicly  ratified  in  Burgos, 
but  before  the  Prince  would  consent  to  enter  the  capital 
of  his  ally  he  required  that  one  of  the  city  gates,  with  the 
wall  flanking  it,  should  be  held  by  his  own  soldiers,  and 
when  the  Prince  and  Lancaster  entered  Burgos  for  the 
ceremony  of  ratification  they  rode  at  the  head  of  five 

i  Ayala,  i.  461  ;  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  222-3  ;  Chandos 
Herald,  3533-88,  3621-722. 

*  Ayala,  i.  47*~83>  49  3~8- 
a  Ibid.  i.  458-61. 

*  Avoecq  tout  chou  li  prinches  de  Galles  tint  son  jugement 
et  son  gage  de  bataille  devant  Burghes  siques  on  puet  bien  dire 
tout  notoirement  que  toutte  Espaigne  par  concquSs  fu  a  lui  et 
&  son  commandement.     Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  223. 



hundred  trusty  men-at-arms.  However,  the  promises, 
for  what  they  were  worth,  were  repeated,  and  on  Sunday, 
May  2,  in  the  Church  of  St.  Mary  the  Greater  the  several 
instruments  were  read  alone,  and  Pedro  standing  before 
the  high  altar,  with  his  hand  upon  the  gospels,  solemnly 
swore  to  fulfil  his  engagements.1  Half  of  his  debt  to  the 
Prince  Pedro  was  to  discharge  at  the  end  of  a  period 
of  four  months,  during  which  the  army  was  to  remain 
in  the  province  of  Valladolid,  while  the  other  half  was 
to  be  paid  at  Bayonne  in  a  year's  time.  After  this  com 
promise  Pedro  set  out  for  the  south,  ostensibly  to  raise 
supplies  to  pay  the  army.  Unquestionably  the  feat 
of  raising  the  money  forthwith  would  have  tasked  the 
powers  of  a  conscientious  monarch,  but  Pedro  chose  to 
intensify  the  difficulty  and  to  disregard  the  obligation. 
His  progress  southwards  to  Seville  was  traced  in  blood ; 
everywhere  those  who  were  barely  suspected  of  sym 
pathy  with  the  usurper  were  cut  down  without  mercy ; 
even  kinship  with  a  rebel  was  a  death  warrant,  while 
the  cities  which  were  compelled  to  deliver  up  hostages 
to  their  rightful  king  were  not  induced  by  open  suspicion 
to  loose  their  purse-strings.  But  financial  embarrass 
ment  alone  cannot  excuse  Pedro's  delay,  and  only  the 
grossest  disloyalty  can  explain  his  conduct.  If  the 
whole  sum  required  could  not  be  raised  at  once,  Pedro 
might  have  advanced  a  portion ;  but,  in  fact,  he  had  no 
intention  of  keeping  his  word.  He  began  by  haggling 
over  the  value  of  the  treasure,  consisting  chiefly  of  jewels 
and  precious  stones,  which  he  had  carried  with  him  in 
his  flight  to  Bayonne  and  had  surrendered  before  the 
army  started.  These  valuables  had  been  realized  at 
once  at  enormous  loss  by  the  Prince's  captains,  but  the 
King  insisted  on  reckoning  their  value  at  a  full,  if  not 
fancy  price.  After  long  parleyings  between  the  King's 
treasurers  and  the  Prince's  agents  over  this  piece  of 

1  Foed,  vi.  559-60 ;  Record  Report,  xl,  App,  (3),  ix.  252. 



sharp  practice,  there  came  an  impudent  attempt  to 
evade  indisputable  obligations.  The  grant  to  the  Prince 
of  the  province  of  Biscay  and  Castro-Urdiales  was 
nominally  made  good  when  Pedro  issued  letters  com 
manding  his  officers  to  deliver  possession,  but  these 
letters  were  accompanied  by  others  less  official  and  more 
sincere,  and  when  Lord  Poynings  went  to  take  over  the 
lands  in  the  Prince's  name  he  was  met  by  a  determined 
resistance,  which  was  admitted  to  be  countenanced  by 
royal  authority.  Even  more  shameless  and  undisguised 
was  the  fraud  practised  upon  Sir  John  Chandos,  who 
had  been  named  Count  of  Soria.  The  grant  was  ad 
mitted,  but  before  issuing  the  necessary  letters  patent 
Pedro's  chancellor  demanded  a  chancery  fee  of  ten 
thousand  marcs. 

Meanwhile  the  army  remained  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Burgos,  finding  provisions  daily  more  difficult  to 
obtain.  At  first,  with  a  rare  and  laudable  restraint, 
the  Prince  had  forbidden  plunder,  refusing,  as  he  said, 
to  make  the  poor  folk  pay  for  the  debts  of  their  ruler. 
But  gradually,  as  Pedro's  ill-faith  became  more  certain, 
the  Prince's  temper  hardened,  until,  faced  with  the 
alternative  of  starvation  or  plunder,  he  gave  a  loose 
rein  to  his  mercenary  forces.  The  maxim  of  necessity 
needs  no  justification,  and,  as  Chandos  Herald  tersely 
puts  it — 

Un  proverbe  al  oy  noncier, 

Que  horn  doit  pur  sa  femme  tender 

Et  pur  sa  viande  combatre. 

When  Burgos  was  exhausted  the  army  marched  on  and 
occupied  Amusco,  which  found  supplies  for  another 
month,  thence  moving  on  to  Valladolid,  Medina  del 
Campo  and  Madrigal,  levying  blackmail  on  the  towns, 
and  plundering  the  villages  far  and  wide.  Meanwhile 
the  privations  suffered  on  the  march  through  Guipuzcoa 
and  Alava,  combined  with  the  effects  of  climate  and 



excess,  produced  the  inevitable  outbreak  of  dysentery. 
Hundreds  of  men-at-arms  and  archers  perished,  while 
in  the  Prince  himself  symptoms  appeared  of  the  lingering 
illness  which  nine  years  later  was  to  prove  fatal.  Clearly 
the  position  could  not  last.  The  latest  representations  to 
Don  Pedro  brought  back  nothing  but  the  request  that 
the  Prince  would  lead  his  mercenaries,  "  ces  maledites 
gens  de  compagnes"  out  of  Castile,  as  no  subsidy  could 
be  raised  while  they  were  living  on  the  country,  while 
to  the  Prince's  demand  for  a  score  of  strongholds  by 
way  of  security  the  King  returned  a  curt  refusal.1 

This  reply  put  an  end  once  and  for  all  to  relations 
between  the  "  allies,"  and  the  Prince,  mobilizing  his 
army  which  was  lying  round  Madrigal,  marched  east 
wards  to  Soria,  near  the  Aragon  frontier.2  There  were 
indeed  imperative  reasons  for  beginning  the  return 
march,  for  disquieting  news  came  from  Aquitaine. 

For  weeks  after  the  battle  no  one,  but  a  few  faithful 
adherents,  knew  what  had  become  of  Don  Enrique.3  In 
point  of  fact  he  had  ridden  for  his  life  across  the  moun 
tains  to  Soria,  narrowly  escaping  capture,  and  thence 
by  the  Calatayud  road  to  Saragossa.4  Trastamare  had 
no  stauncher  friend  than  the  House  of  Luna,  and  among 
the  members  of  that  House  no  partisan  more  devoted 
than  Pedro  de  Luna  (afterwards  Pope  by  the  name  of 
Benedict  XIII),  who  guided  the  fugitive  north  through 
Jaca.  Once  safe  across  the  Pyrenees,  Enrique  breathed 
more  freely,  and  looked  for  a  resting-place  at  Orthez 
with  the  Count  of  Foix.  But  Foix,  while  welcoming 
the  foe  of  Don  Pedro,  was  embarrassed  by  the  enemy 
of  the  Black  Prince,5  and  hastened  to  speed  the  parting 

1  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  224-6,  236-9. 

2  Chandos  Herald,  3723-44. 

3  On  April  15  Pedro   writes;    "  E  el   traydor  non    sabemos 
si  es  preso  6  nmerto."    Ayala,  i.  461. 

4  Ibid.  i.  461-3  ;  Froissart,   K.  de  L.  vii.  22/7-31. 

6  "  Ca  veia  que  el  principe  era  estonce  uno  de  los  mayores 
omes  del  mundo  entre  los  Christianos."  Ayala,  i.  462. 



guest  with  money  and  horses  to  Toulouse,  Something 
in  the  chivalrous  daring  of  the  fallen  king  struck  the 
imagination  of  his  contemporaries,  who  soon  weaved 
round  his  figure  the  web  of  a  cycle  of  romance,  telling 
how  in  the  guise  of  a  pilgrim  he  wandered  from  the  hills 
of  Lerida  to  the  Biscay  shore  and  to  the  Mediterranean, 
how  he  paid  a  secret  visit  to  the  King  of  Aragon  at  Per- 
pignan,  and  spoke  with  the  great  Bertrand  in  his  cap 
tivity  at  Bordeaux.1  But  the  legends  of  the  trouv£re  are 
indeed  less  interesting  than  the  facts  of  history,  for 
Enrique,  indomitable  where  another  would  have  de 
spaired,  was  no  sooner  overthrown  than  he  began  again 
to  plan,  to  intrigue  and  work  for  his  restoration.  So 
great  was  the  terror  of  the  Prince's  name  that  none  of 
the  friendly  powers  dared  openly  to  receive  him  ;  his 
interview  with  Urban  V  at  Villeneuve,  near  Avignon, 
was  secret,2  and  official  correctness  constrained  Charles  V, 
who  gave  convincing  if  furtive  encouragement  to  the 
usurper,  to  place  the  Count  of  Auxerre  under  arrest  for 
excess  of  zeal  in  his  cause.  But  the  strongest  support 
came  from  Louis,  Duke  of  Anjou  and  Lieutenant  of 
Languedoc.  Between  Anjou  and  Trastamare  a  secret 
treaty  was  concluded,  directed  not  only  against  Prince 
Edward,  but  also  his  brothers,  and  Lancaster  in  par 
ticular  ;  nor  was  it  long  before  the  alliance  began  to  show 
practical  results.  Financed  by  Anjou,  Enrique  gathered 
a  few  hundred  lances  about  him,  and  began  forthwith 
to  harry  Aquitaine  from  the  side  of  Bigorre. 

The  manoeuvre  succeeded.  Anxious  messages  from 
the  Princess  Joan  recalled  the  Prince  to  the  protection 
of  his  own  lands ;  but  to  return  direct  by  the  route  of 
the  invasion  would  be  both  to  lose  all  hold  on  Don  Pedro 
and  to  invite  the  usurper  to  return  by  the  eastern  gate 
and  to  repeat  his  victorious  march  of  1366. 

1  See  Cuvelier  444-55  and  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  515-7,  note* 

2  Ayala,  i,  503-5. 



Hence  the  Prince's  move  to  the  confines  of  Aragon 
and  the  beginning  of  a  new  chapter  in  the  history  of 
English  relations  with  the  Peninsular  powers.1  So  far 
as  foreign  affairs  are  concerned  there  were  two  phases 
of  political  opinion  in  Aragon.  One  party,  led  by  the 
Infante  Don  Pedro,  the  Archbishop  of  Saragossa  and 
the  powerful  House  of  Luna,  was  devoted  to  the  interests 
of  Trastamare ;  it  was  this  faction  which  had  obtained 
a  refuge  for  Juana,  Enrique's  Queen,  and  her  children, 
the  eldest  of  whom,  Don  Juan,  was  betrothed  to  Dona 
Leonor,  daughter  of  the  King  of  Aragon.2  "  Pedro,  the 
Ceremonious "  himself,  however,  was  not  inclined  to 
sacrifice  his  kingdom  to  a  losing,  if  not  a  lost  cause,  and 
when  Sir  John  Chandos  and  Sir  Hugh  Calverly  arrived 
on  a  mission  from  the  Black  Prince,  they  found  it  no 
hard  task  to  expel  the  emigre  family  of  the  usurper  of 
Castile,  For  a  time  the  House  of  Luna  felt  their 
influence  paralyzed  :  Juana  finding  Saragossa  uncom 
fortable,  went  north  to  join  her  husband  on  a  more 
friendly  soil.3  But  much  more  than  a  strict  neutrality 
in  the  quarrel  of  Trastamare  and  Burgundy  was  required 
of  Aragon  by  the  English  envoys,  for  the  Prince,  in 
furiated  by  Pedro's  treachery,  was  contemplating  some 
thing  like  a  partition  of  his  dominions.  Chandos  found 
Aragon  in  a  state  of  panic ;  his  master's  name  was  one 
to  conjure  with  throughout  the  peninsula.  So  soon 
as  Najera  was  won  and  Enrique  overthrown,  Aragon 
had  feared  the  worst.  Proximus  ardet  Ucalegon,  The 
rumour  of  invasion  had  grown  precise  enough  to  fore- 

1  Ayala,  i  465-6.  Chandos  Herald  knows,  as  he  admits, 
nothing  of  the  negotiations  but  the  fact  of  their  existence.  The 
gap  is  filled  by  Zurita  (Anales  de  la  Corona  de  Aragdn,  ii  348-50). 
Zunta  was  not  contemporary ;  he  lived  A.D.  1512-80.  But  he 
worked  from  originals,  and  though  dull,  is  accurate  and  not 
lacking  hi  the  critical  sense. 

*  Ayala,  i.  463  ;  Chandos  Herald,  3589-622, 

3  Ayala,  i.  562. 



cast  the  exact  intentions  of  the  Black  Prince :  while  he 
himself  looked  to  the  eastern  frontier,  John  of  Gaunt, 
supported  by  the  King  of  Majorca,  so  it  was  believed, 
would  attack  Aragon  via  Tarrazona,  and  attempt  a 
systematic  conquest  of  the  kingdom.  These  fears  and 
the  sense  of  relief  consequent  upon  the  revelations  of 
Prince  Edward's  true  intentions,  made  the  task  of  nego 
tiation  easy.  The  King  of  Aragon  welcomed  the  Prince's 
proffered  alliance,  at  once  disowned  Don  Enrique  and 
annuUed  the  betrothal  of  his  daughter  to  Enrique's 
son,  agreed  to  oppose  Enrique's  restoration  if  necessary 
by  force,  and  seriously  discussed  the  proposal  that,  if 
Don  Pedro  did  not  make  good  his  promises  of  repay 
ment  and  the  cession  of  Biscay  and  Castro-Urdiales,1  and 
did  not  also  pay  an  indemnity  for  the  losses  suffered  by 
Aragon  in  the  former  war,  he  should  unite  his  forces 
with  those  of  the  Prince  in  a  confederation  into  which 
Navarre  and  Portugal  were  to  be  called,  should  attack 
Pedro,  and  partition  his  dominions.  The  Infanta  Leonor, 
divorced  from  the  usurper's  son,  was  by  this  arrange 
ment  to  be  married  to  Edward  Plantagenet,  elder  son 
of  the  Black  Prince,  and  an  Anglo-Aragonese  dynasty 
was  to  be  set  up  in  the  central  kingdom,  or  what  was 
left  of  it  after  partition  between  the  allies. 

Thus  in  August,  1367,  England  appeared  to  be  on  the 
brink  of  a  new  and  revolutionary  Peninsular  policy. 
That  these  proposals  were  never  carried  further  was 
due  to  the  condition  of  the  Prince's  health  and  the  danger 
of  Aquitaine.  But  at  least  for  the  moment  the  Prince's 
object  was  served ;  he  had  shut  the  doors  of  Aragon 
on  Trastamare,  as  it  seemed,  and  he  had  prepared  the 
way  for  punishing  the  perjured  Castilian  King.  He 
was  free  therefore  to  return  to  Aquitaine.  No  difficulty 
hampered  the  retreat.  Navarre  was  unable  to  offer 

1  The  Prince  never  obtained  possession,  but  continued  to 
style  himself  Lord  of  Biscay  and  of  Castro-Urdiales. 



resistance,  and  Charles  the  Bad,  having  now  emerged 
from  his  sham  captivity  at  Borja  (and,  by  the 
way,  having  cheated  Olivier  de  Mauni  of  the  reward 
promised  for  his  complaisance),  hastened  to  place  him 
self  at  the  disposal  of  the  successful  general,  and  to  atone 
by  obsequiousness  for  treachery.  Conducting  Prince 
Edward  from  the  southern  to  the  northern  limit  of  his 
dominions,1  he  bowed  the  English  army  out  of  Navarre 
at  Roncevalles,  and  the  Prince  and  Lancaster  returned 
through  Bayonne  to  Bordeaux. 

So  ended  the  great  Castilian  expedition  of  1367,  an 
episode  which  marking  as  it  does  an  epoch  in  the  history 
of  the  Hundred  Years  War,  marks  also  a  crisis  in  the 
lives  of  Prince  Edward  and  the  Duke  of  Lancaster.  Of 
its  disastrous  effects  upon  the  Prince  and  through  him 
upon  the  fortunes  of  English  Aquitaine,  more  will  have 
to  be  said  hereafter.  In  the  life  of  John  of  Gaunt  also 
its  importance  is  scarcely  less.  He  had  gained  a  new 
and  invaluable  experience  of  men  and  affairs.  He  had 
borne  himself  bravely  in  battle,  so  that  the  Herald  of 
the  gallant  Chandos  could  say  of  him — 

Et  d'auire  part  li  noble  ducz 
De  Lancastre,  plein  de  vertuz 
Si  noblemen t  se  combat oit 
Que  chescun  s'en  emerveilloit 
En  regardant  sa  grant  prouesse 
Coment  par  sa  noble  hautesse 
Mettoit  son  corps  en  aventure  : 
Car  jeo  croy  que  nunques  creature 
Poevre  ne  riches,  ne  se  mist 
Cel  jour  si  avant  come  il  fist. 

Well  served,  as  he  had  been,  by  the  ablest  of  English 
leaders,  the  Duke  had  won  some  credit  as  a  divisional 
commander  :  in  a  critical  moment  he  had  shown  courage 
and  presence  of  mind.  But  the  experience  of  1367  was 
not  confined  to  the  art  of  war  ;  it  furnished  also  a  lesson 

i  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vii.  240-243;  Chandos  Herald,  3745-814. 



in  statecraft.  The  Black  Prince  had  overwhelmed 
all  material  opposition  to  his  will ;  he  had  shown  himself 
arbiter  of  the  destinies  of  kings.  Lancaster  who,  while 
lacking  the  force  and  strength  of  purpose  which  alone 
secure  permanence  to  the  work  of  the  statesman,  had 
yet  in  imagination  and  in  reserve  two  qualities  essential 
to  the  diplomatist,  burned  to  imitate  the  example  of 
one  who  at  a  touch  had  made  the  whole  fabric  of  the 
new  dynasty  collapse,  who  made  and  unmade  alliances 
at  his  will,  and  by  his  mere  fiat  rearranged  the  relations 
of  the  powers.  That  example  was  not  forgotten,  and 
it  worked  in  the  mind  of  the  ambitious  Duke,  as  in  October 
he  returned  to  England  and  dismissed  his  men-at-arms 
and  archers  to  fight  all  their  battles  o'er  again  and  to 
tell  the  story  of  Najera  to  their  comrades  in  the  chaces 
of  Derbyshire  and  the  Lancashire  forests. 

It  seemed  then  an  easy  thing  to  set  up  and  dethrone 
kings,  but,  in  truth,  the  brilliance  of  the  Prince's  achieve 
ment  was  illusory  and  its  results  ephemeral.  No  sooner 
had  the  Prince  crossed  the  Pyrenees  than  the  reaction 
began.  Enrique  soon  found  himself  in  command  of 
a  second  army;  in  spite  of  the  protests,  sincere  but 
inoperative,  of  the  King  of  Aragon,  the  usurper  a  second 
time  crossed  the  frontier  and  invaded  Castile.  A  short 
campaign  recovered  Leon ;  Oviedo  and  the  Asturias 
accepted  the  counter-revolution,  and  though  Logrono 
again  held  out  for  the  legitimist  cause  and  Galicia  made 
only  a  nominal  surrender,  there  was  nothing  to  check 
Enrique's  advance  or  to  hinder  his  progress  to  the  south. 
At  Toledo  du  Guesclin,  now  at  liberty,  again  joined  his 
standard  with  a  body  of  fine  French  troops,  and  the  army 
advanced  to  the  south. 

On  March  13,  1369,  the  issue  was  decided.  Instead 
of  the  invincible  army  led  by  Prince  Edward  two  years 
before,  Pedro  had  to  rely  on  a  heterogeneous  mass  of 
untrustworthy  Castilian  levies,  Moorish  cavalry,  and 



armed  Jews.    When  the  two  armies  got  into  touch  the 
legitimist  superiority  of  numbers  was  useless,  for  Pedro's 
forces  were  taken  by  surprise  and  defeated  in  detail. 
Du  Guesclin's  Frenchmen  easily  accounted  for  the  Cas- 
tilian  division  ;  the  Jews  fled  at  the  first  onset,   and 
the  splendid  courage  of  the  Moors  of   Granada,   who 
only  came  into   action   when   the  battle  was   already 
decided,  only  availed  to  swell  the  numbers  of  the  slain. 
Pedro's   own   ferocious   bravery   was   useless  ;  his    last 
army  was  routed,  and  there  was  no  alternative  to  flight. 
With,  a  few  faithful  followers  he  reached  the  Castle  of 
Montiel,  but  his  movements  were  known  and  the  place 
was  surrounded.    The  hope  of  getting  past  the  enemy's 
pickets  on  a  dark  midnight  after  the  battle  proved  for 
lorn.    As  a  last  expedient  the  King  sent  an  emissary 
to  du  Guesclin's  camp  with  the  offer  of  an  immense 
bribe  if  he  were  allowed  to  escape.    The  great  Breton 
soldier  despised  the  treachery,  but  used  it.    He  enticed 
the  King  to  his  tent,  and  there,  with  the  aid  of  Olivier 
de  Mauni,  du  Guesclin's  cousin,  Enrique  of  Trastamare 
stabbed  his  brother,  the  last  monarch  of  the  House  of 

In  later  days,  when  the  memory  of  Pedro's  disloyalty 
to  the  Black  Prince  was  less  present  to  men's  minds 
than  the  motives,  both  personal  and  political,  which 
made  England  the  enemy  of  the  usurping  dynasty, 
Geoffrey  Chaucer,  learning  it  doubtless  from  the  lips 
of  Constance  of  Castile,  told  the  story  of  Pedro's 
death — 

O  noble,  O  worthy  Petro,  glorie  of  Spayne, 

Whom  fortune  heeld  so  hy  in  magestee, 

Wei  oughten  men  thy  pitous  deeth  complayne  ! 

Out  of  thy  lond  thy  brother  made  thee  flee  ; 

And  after,  at  a  sege,  by  subtiltee, 

Thou  were  bitrayed,  and  lad  un-to  his  tente, 

Wher-as  he  with  his  owene  hond  slow  thee, 

Succeding  in  thy  regne  and  in  thy  rente. 


The  feeld  of  snow,  with  thegle  blak  ther-inne, 
Caught  with  the  lymrod,  coloured  as  the  glede, 
He  brew  this  cursednes  and  at  this  sinne. 
The  "  wikked  nest  "  was  werker  of  this  nede  ; 
Noght  Charles  Oliver,  that  ay  took  hede 
Of  trouthe  and  honour,  but  of  Annorike 
Genilon  Oliver,  corrupt  for  mede, 
Broghte  his  worthy  king  in  swich  a  brike.1 

Like  those  of  old  upon  whom  the  curse  of  blood-guiltiness 
had  fallen,  Pedro  the  Cruel  had  been  driven  from  crime 
to  crime,  never  suffered  to  rest,  involving  others  in  his 
own  fall,  driven  by  the  results  of  his  deeds  to  expi 
ate  the  curse  with  his  own  life.  Yet  in  spite  of  his 
savagery  there  is  something  of  real  tragedy  in  his  life 
and  death.  He  stood  for  a  true  principle,  and  he  failed, 
not  only  because  his  own  character  was  wanting,  but 
because  anything  save  failure  was  impossible. 

History  in  Spain  was  written  not  by  monks,  but  by 
gentlemen,  and  therefore  in  the  verdict  of  history  for 
Pedro,  the  enemy  of  the  nobles,  there  are  no  extenua 
ting  circumstances.  But  to  the  people,  who  remembered 
his  stern  justice  and  forgot  the  cruelty  only  shown  to 
their  oppressors,  Pedro  the  Cruel  was  Pedro  the  Justiciar. 
.  Thus  in  two  years  the  work  of  Najera  was  undone 
at  Montiel ;  but  the  dynastic  struggle  continued,  and 
the  blood  feud  of  Burgundy  and  Trastamare  remained, 
to  be  renewed  a  generation  later  by  the  son  of  Enrique 
the  Magnificent  and  the  daughter  of  Pedro  the  Cruel, 
when  English  soldiers  were  to  fight  once  more  in  Spain 
under  the  standard  of  John  of  Gaunt,  and  as  the  old 
prophecy  foretold,  the  English  Leopards  were  again 
to  be  seen  on  the  field  of  Castile. 

1  Chaucer,  "  The  Monke's  Tale/'  384-400.  The  "feeld  of 
snow,"  etc.,  describes  du  Guesclin's  arms  ;  the  "  wikked  nest  " 
is  Sir  Oliver  de  Mauni  "  Mau  "  "  ni."  See  Skeat,  Chaucer,  vol.  v. 
Notes  to  the  Monke's  Tale,  p.  238-40.  Ayala  (i.  551-557)  is> 
as  usual,  more  trustworthy  than  Froissart. 


Chapter  IV 


IN  the  Livre  des  faits  et  bons  moeurs  du  sage  Roy 
Charles  V,  Christine  de  Pisan,  the  first  of  literary 
ladies,  has  an  excellent  story  which  illustrates  the  charac 
ter  both  of  the  King  who,  she  persuades  herself,  is  the 
pattern  of  knightly  accomplishments,  and  of  the  Duke  of 

Once  the  court  of  Edward  III  was  discussing  the  merits 
of  his  "  adversary  of  France,"  and  Lancaster  remarked — 
"  Notre  adversaire  n'est  pas  un  sage  prince  :  ce  n'est 
qu'un  avocat."  The  mot  coming  to  the  ears  of  Charles  V 
provoked  the  retort :  "Si  nous  sommes  avocats,  nous 
leur  batirons  tel  plaid  que  la  sentence  les  ennuiera." 
The  royal  "  attorney  "  made  good  his  threat :  he  lived 
to  see  England  weary  of  the  struggle.  But  if  history  has 
justified  the  King's  retort,  the  events  of  1369  testified  to 
the  Duke's  judgment.  The  phrase  touched  a  weak  spot 
in  the  King's  armour.  It  was  a  hit — a  very  palpable  hit. 
King  John  had  fought  his  enemies  in  the  field.  He  had 
failed,  and  failed  disastrously,  it  is  true,  but  England 
and  France,  foe  and  friend,  respected  "  Jeanle  Bon"  even 
in  failure.  When  a  prince  of  the  "  Fleurs  de  Lys  "  had 
broken  parole,  King  John,  it  was  remembered,  had 
returned  of  his  free  will  to  captivity,  to  redeem  the  for 
feited  honour  of  France.  He  was  a  man  of  action  and 
a  man  of  his  word. 

John,  if  a  poor  king,  was  a  good  knight ;  Charles  was 
a  "  politique,"  and  policy  rather  than  chivalry  was 



needed  to  deliver  France  out  of  the  hand  of  her  enemies. 
But  the  contrast  between  father  and  son  was  striking,  and 
seemed  to  many  besides  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  far  from 
favourable  to  Charles  V. 

From  the  point  of  view  of  chivalry,  and  to  men 
imbued  with  the  prejudices  and  prepossessions  natural 
to  a  military  society,  in  all  of  which  the  Duke  shared, 
Charles  V  was  a  craven.  Weighed  in  the  balance  of  feudal 
thought,  he  was  found  wanting.  It  required  a  stand 
point  more  detached,  an  insight  into  policy  more  clear 
and  penetrating,  to  appreciate  the  kingliness  of  the  man 
who  now  sat  on  the  throne  of  the  Valois,  the  friend  of 
scholars  and  priests,  the  lover  of  books,  of  fasts  and 
masses,  the  king  who  never  bore  arms  in  battle  or  tourney, 
who  rarely  travelled  more  than  fifty  miles  from  Paris,  and 
who  won  his  victories  from  the  council  chamber. 

Devout  and  orderly  in  his  life,  monastic  in  the  regu 
larity  if  not  in  the  simplicity  of  his  habits — for  he  loved 
a  measure  of  kingly  magnificence  and  did  not  spare  France 
the  burden  of  a  costly  household— Charles  had  taken  for 
his  model  his  ancestor  Louis  IX.  But  he  inherited  neither 
the  real  grace  and  goodness  of  Louis  the  Saint  nor  the 
frank  manliness  of  John  the  Good.  If  his  subjects  could 
interpret  caution  as  timidity,  his  enemies  may  be  excused 
for  finding  in  his  subtlety  something  underhand. 

The  attorney's  nature  had  shown  itself  in  manipulating 
the  Treaty  of  Calais.  The  engagements  entered  into  at 
Br6tigni  in  May,  1360,  and  confirmed  by  the  treaty  at 
Calais  in  October,  had  never  been  fulfilled.  The  really 
vital  issue  was  mutual  renunciation  on  the  part  of  the 
King  of  France  of  his  claim  to  the  suzerainty  of 
Aquitaine ;  on  the  part  of  the  King  of  England  of  his 
claim  to  the  throne  of  France.  There  were  doubtless 
faults  on  both  sides,  but  it  may  be  accepted  as  a  fact  that 
the  then  Regent  of  France  had  no  intention  of  handing 
over  territories  as  great  as  his  own  kingdom  to  the 


enemy.  In  spite  of  formal  orders,  he  had  made  no 
effort  to  restore  Limousin,  Perigord,  Querci  and  Rouergue 
to  effective  English  rule.  A  new  pretext  was  ever  at 
hand  for  delaying  the  performance  of  treaty  obligations, 
until  the  time-limit  fixed  by  treaty  was  passed.  The 
"  attorney  "  had  won  his  legal  point.  He  could  wait. 

For  nine  years  he  had  been  content  to  wait,  while  the 
peace  was  observed  with  doubtful  faith  and  on  both  sides 
with  mutual  distrust.  With  malevolent  neutrality 
he  had  watched  the  Black  Prince  cross  the  Pyrenees  and 
oust  Don  Enrique.  The  Marshal  of  France  and  a  French 
army  had  fought  for  Don  Enrique,  himself  a  pensioner  of 
the  French  court,  but  between  France  and  England 
there  had  been  no  overt  hostilities.  The  peace  was 
shaken,  not  broken. 

Then  came  the  day  of  reckoning.  Don  Pedro's  promises 
proved  worthless.  How  was  Prince  Edward  to  pay  the 
army  which  had  followed  him  on  the  strength  of  under 
takings  for  which  he  had  made  himself  responsible  ? 

It  was  with  the  free  assent  of  the  Estates  that  the  Black 
Prince  had  espoused  Don  Pedro's  quarrel ;  the  promised 
gain  had  proved  a  loss,  and  those  who  had  coveted  the 
spoils  were  not  willing  to  share  the  cost. 

The  Estates  which  met  at  St.  fimilion  in  October,  1367, 
and  at  Angouleme  in  January,  1368,  granted  a  fouage, 
a  tax  of  ten  sous  on  each  hearth,  to  run  for  five  years, 
but  they  were  not  speaking  with  the  voice  of  Aqui- 
taine.  Owing  to  the  unsettled  state  of  the  country, 
for  -one  reason  and  another  many  deputies  of  the  towns 
had  been  prevented  from  coming  to  the  Parliament; 
others  deliberately  stayed  away.  Armagnac  and  his 
nephew  Albret,  the  most  powerful  of  the  Gascon  barons, 
refused  to  come,  and  swore  that  the  fouage  should  never- 
run  in  their  lands. 

The  Prince  insisted.  It  was  in  vain  that  Sir  John 
Chandos  protested,  pointing  out  that  he  was  taking  the 



surest  means  to  shake  his  subjects*  wavering  loyalty 
and  to  throw  the  malcontents  into  the  arms  of  France. 

Was  it  that  Prince  Edward's  illness  had  clouded  his 
view  of  a  plain  political  issue  ?  Or  did  he  despise  the 
meanness  of  those  who  repudiated  what  was  virtually 
their  own  action,  and  refused  the  tax  which  was  to  pay 
a  debt  in  which  the  honour  of  their  suzerain  was  at 
stake  ? 

The  Prince  would  not  give  way,  and  Chandos,  the 
best  and  greatest  of  King  Edward's  captains,  withdrew  to 
St.  Sauveur,  his  lordship  in  the  north,  only  to  leave  it 
two  years  later  to  draw  sword  and  die  in  the  quarrel  he 
had  striven  to  avert.  The  fatal  step  was  taken.  In 
April,  1368,  Armagnac  and  the  disloyal  party  appealed 
from  the  Black  Prince  to  the  King  of  France  as  overlord  of 
Aquitaine.  The  spring  of  that  year  saw  a  throng  of 
emigre  Gascon  barons  at  the  French  Court,  feted  and 
caressed  by  the  King,  who  had  fair  words,  promises,  and 
gifts  for  each.  Some  received  money  bribes  ;  others  rich 
fiefs.  To  Albret  himself  the  King  gave  the  hand  of  his 
sister-in-law,  Isabella  of  Bourbon.  Charles  had  accepted 
the  appeal,  but  while  treating  the  Gascon  barons  as  sub 
jects,  he  still  hesitated  to  take  the  last  step. 

At  length  he  was  persuaded  by  the  counsels  of  his 
advisers,  backed  by  the  devastations  of  the  free  com 
panies  who,  unemployed  since  their  return  from  Spain, 
and  now  dismissed  frrm  Aquitaine,  were  living  at  ease 
in  their  "  chamber  "  of  France. 

Charles  would  have  all  the  law  gave  him.  The  "  attor 
ney  "  looked  into  his  bond.  The  bond  said  that  the 
King  of  England  was  still  his  vassal  for  Aquitaine.  He 
cited  Prince  Edward  to  Paris  to  answer  to  the  complaints 
of  his  Gascon  subjects.  The  summons,  given  publicly 
in  the  Abbey  of  St.  Andrew  at  Bordeaux,  stung  the  Prince 
to  fury. 

His  answer  is  one  of  the  many  boasts  which  history  has 



preserved  only  to  belie.  He  would  come  to  Paris,  but 
with  helmet  on  head  and  sixty  thousand  men  behind 

Then  at  length  Charles  defied  the  King  of  England,  and 
Edward  reassumed,  with  the  sanction  of  Parliament,  the 
style  and  title  of  King  of  France.  The  most  timid  of 
the  Valois  had  "  cried  havoc  and  let  slip  the  dogs  of  war." 

The  nine  long  years  of  waiting  since  Br6tigni  had  not 
been  wasted,  and  Charles,  with  a  true  instinct  for  the 
needs  of  France,  had  given  proof  of  the  wisdom  which 
Christine  claims  for  him. 

When  the  struggle  opened  again  in  1369,  he  had  a 
policy,  an  ally,  and  the  sinews  of  war — a  fleet  and  army 
ready  to  use.  His  policy — inaction — was  his  own.  His 
ally  was  given  to  him  by  the  Black  Prince.  In  more 
ways  than  one  the  policy  of  the  Black  Prince  in  supporting 
Don  Pedro  was  fraught  with  fatal  results.  The  ruin  of 
his  own  health,  the  loss  of  Aquitaine,  and  the  downfall 
of  English  naval  supremacy  were  all,  wholly  or  in  part, 
the  consequences  of  the  momentous  decision  of  1366. 
In  1340  and  1350  Edward  III  had  cleared  the  Channel 
of  enemies,  and  had  done  something  to  win  the  proud 
title — "  Lord  of  the  Seas."  The  Spanish  policy  of  his 
son  threw  Castile  into  the  arms  of  France,  and  made  the 
alliance  of  the  Houses  of  Trastamare  and  Valois  a  political 
necessity.  Henceforth  the  naval  force  of  Castile  and 
Leon  is  added  to  that  of  France  ;  the  existing  balance  of 
naval  power  is  overthrown.  In  the  second  epoch  of  the 
Hundred  Years  War  the  fleets  of  Charles  V  and  Don 
Enrique  make  common  cause.  England  has  lost  the 
mastery  of  the  seas  :  she  cannot  even  hold  the  Channel. 

Meanwhile,  in  France  itself,  all  through  these  years  of 
peace,  preparations  had  been  made  for  war.  Charles  had 
worked  hard  to  supplement  the  feudal  levies  which  had 
failed  so  signally  at  Crecy  and  Poictiers  by  the  creation  of  a 
royal  army,  and  taking  a  leaf  from  his  rival's  book,  he  had 



begun  to  take  the  people  into  partnership,  and  to  place 
burgess  and  citizen  in  the  field  beside  knight  and  man- 
at-arms.  Co-ordinate  in  the  King's  policy  with  the 
creation  of  a  royal  army  was  the  attempt  to  create  a  royal 
navy.  Side  by  side  with  du  Guesclin  stands  Jean  de 
Vienne,  soon  to  be  Admiral  of  France,  and  worthy  to  be 
ranked  with  the  great  Breton  soldier  among  the  heroes  of 
French  emancipation. 

At  Clos  des  Galees,  the  royal  arsenal  and  dockyard 
on  the  left  bank  of  the  Seine,  there  were  busy  preparations 
in  the  autumn  of  1369.  The  King  himself  was  at  Rouen, 
superintending,  with  Philippe  le  Hardi,  Duke  of  Bur 
gundy,  the  preparations  for  the  struggle.  Vexin  and 
Beauvais  swarmed  with  soldiers.  From  Harfleur  to 
Rouen  the  river  was  crowded  with  ships  and  vessels,  large 
and  small,  for  Charles  meant  to  make  a  great  demonstra 
tion  in  the  Channel,  his  plan  being  to  ravage  the  south 
coast  of  England,  and  to  keep  Edward  engaged  in  pro 
tecting  his  home  ports,  while,  communications  being 
thus  severed  between  England  and  Bordeaux,  the  Dukes 
of  Berri  and  Anjou  pushed  back  the  English  frontiers 
in  the  south  and  drove  Prince  Edward  out  of  Aquitaine. 

To  this  England  replied  by  despatching  the  Earls  of 
Cambridge  and  Pembroke  south  with  reinforcements, 
while  Lancaster  was  sent  to  Calais,  to  engage  Burgundy's 
attention  and  to  make  a  diversion  in  Picardy,1 

1  Lancaster's  powers  as  Lieutenant  of  the  King  in  the  North 
and  Captain  of  Calais,  Guines  and  Merk,  with  the  duty  of  super 
vising  fortresses,  etc.,  are  dated  12  June,  1369,  Rot.  Franc. 
ii.  100,  m.  ii.  Cf.  orders  to  Adam  de  Hoghton  and  four  of  the 
commissioners  of  array  to  enrol  400  archers  in  Lancashire. 
Rot.  Vase.  43  Edw.  Ill,  m.  5. 

For  the  raids  in  Picardy  in  August  and  September,  1369,  I 
have  followed  Froissart  K.  de  L.  vii.  420-443 ;  xvii.  480-3, 
and  the  French  chroniclers  Chron.  Bourb.,  72-43 ;  Chron.  Norm. 
190-1  ;  Grandes  Chroniques,  vi.  318-320.  Cf.  Istoreet  Chroniques 
de  Flandres,  II.  106.  Chr.  Reg.  Franc,  ii.  341.  Chr.  Val.  205. 
Chron.  Angl.  63.  Eulog,  336. 

Walsingham's  i.  307-8  account  seems  intended  as  a  eulogy  of 
the  Earl  of  Warwick,  and  does  not  square  with  the  known  facts. 



In  July  John  of  Gaunt  landed  at  Calais  with  some  six 
hundred  men-at-arms  and  fifteen  hundred  archers — his 
first  independent  command.  The  army  was  too  small 
to  do  much  ;  it  was  just  strong  enough  f or  a  "  reconnais 
sance  in  force,"  capable  of  the  usual  devastations,  and 
large  enough  to  postpone  for  a  time  Bmgundy's  projects 
of  invasion. 

It  numbered  some  soldiers  of  note — Sir  Walter  Manny 
and  the  Earls  of  Salisbury  and  Warwick;  and  the  duke's 
friend,  Sir  Henry  Percy,  a  splendid  fighting  man,  was 
among  the  number.  Some  notables  of  the  Low  Countries, 
the  Marquess  of  Juliers,  the  Duke  of  Gueldres  and  Robert 
of  Namur,  who  had  done  as  much  as  most  men  to  start 
the  Hundred  Years  War,  joined  the  duke's  standard  at 

Lancaster  soon  made  his  presence  felt.1  The  week  in 
which  Burgundy  should  have  mobilized  his  fleet  in  the 
Seine,  the  whole  country  side  from  Calais  to  Boulogne 
and  Licques  was  reported  in  flames,  and  the  Count 
of  St.  Pol  was  shut  up  in  Th£rouanne  and  dare  not 

Burgundy,  recalled  from  his  preparations  to  check 
English  depredations  in  the  north,  marched  from 
Rouen  through  Abbeville  and  Hesdin  to  Tournehem.2 
This  was  the  news  for  which  Lancaster  was  waiting.  The 
Duke  had  returned  to  Calais  after  a  couple  of  raids,  but 
hearing  of  Burgundy's  advance,  he  at  once  marched  south 
to  Tournehem  and  took  up  a  strong  position  opposite 
the  enemy. 

The  French  outnumbered  the  Duke's  army  by  at  least 
seven  to  one,  and  no  one  doubted  that  they  would  attack. 

1  Cl  Mandements  et  actes  divers,  No.  566.     On  16  Aug.,  1369, 
Charles  had  already  heard  that  Lancaster  "  had  landed  at  Calais 
with  a  great  force  of  men-at-arms  and  archers,  and  had  raided 

2  See  Itineraires  de  Philippe  le  hardi,  58. 



But  no  attack  came.  From  August  25  to  September  12, 
1369,  the  two  armies  faced  each  other,  the  English  in  daily 
and  hourly  expectation  of  the  assault  which  was  never 
delivered.  Burgundy's  movements  were  controlled  from 
headquarters ;  the  new  policy  of  inaction  had  begun. 
In  spite  of  their  vast  superiority  of  numbers,  the  French 
did  nothing.  The  sum  total  of  military  operations 
amounted  to  a  few  irregular  encounters  between  individual 
knights,  desirous  of  "  advancing  themselves,"  and  one 
half-hearted  surprise  attack  on  the  English  camp,  which 
was  easily  beaten  off.  At  length,  after  a  fortnight's 
inaction,  Philip  "  the  bold  "  obtained  permission  to  end 
a  situation  little  to  his  taste.  One  night— September  12 — 
covering  his  movements  by  a  long  line  of  fires,  Burgundy 
broke  up  his  camp  and  marched  away  to  Paris.  Lan 
caster's  camp  was  roused  by  the  glare  of  French  fires. 
At  length  the  expected  attack  was  coming!  After 
standing  to  arms  for  half  the  night  the  Duke's  force 
became  convinced  of  the  truth.  Lancaster  had  refused 
to  believe  that  Burgundy  would  withdraw  without 
battle,  but  his  spies  confirmed  what  his  council  had 
told  him.  The  enemy  had  retreated. 

The  next  day  he  bivouacked  in  the  French  camp,  and 
after  a  halt  carried  out  his  original  plan.  His  objective 
was  the  Seine :  he  intended  to  see  what  damage  could 
be  done  to  the  French  shipping. 

The  line  of  march  lay  past  St.  Omer,  Thfrouanne,  Pernes 
and  St.  Pol,  and  the  country  was  swept  clear  as  the  army 
advanced.1  Without  stopping  to  besiege  strong  places, 
Lancaster,  on  reaching  Lucheux,  turned  westwards  to  St. 
Riquier  and  crossed  the  Somme  near  Abbeville  at  the 
historic  ford  of  Blanchetaque.  Meeting  no  opposition, 

1  For  the  march  through  Picardy  Pierre  Cochon  (p.  123)  is 
worth  reading.  He  wrote  a  generation  later  than  the  events,  but 
he  was  a  native  of  Caux,  and  preserved  the  tradition  of  things 
which  happened  there  with  the  greatest  interest. 



he  struck  due  west  to  the  sea  coast,1  looting  as  he  went 
and  embarking  his  spoils  on  board  the  ships  which  fol 
lowed  his  march,  guided  by  the  smoke  and  flame  of  burn 
ing  farm  and  village.  This  went  on  till  the  army  reached 
St.  Adresse,  the  most  important  port  on  the  Seine  before 
the  existence  of  Le  Havre  de  Grace,  Montivilliers  was 
assaulted,  but  Harfleur  itself  was  too  strong  to  be 
attacked.  Had  the  Duke  been  in  greater  force  it  would 
have  been  tempting  to  assault  Rouen  and  try  to  cross 
the  Seine  and  burn  "  Clos  des  Galees."  But  happily  for 
the  French  the  Duke  had  only  a  handful  of  men  and 
no  siege  engines,  and  the  arsenals,  being  on  the  south  side 
of  the  river,  were  safe.  After  a  few  days  before  Harfleur 
the  army  returned  through  Estouteville,  Gomerville, 
£tienville,  Bolbec,  Oisemont,  Rue  and  Montreuil  to 

Outside  Abbeville  the  Duke  had  captured  Hugh  de 
Chatillon,  captain  of  Abbeville  and  Master  of  the  French 
crossbowmen,  the  man  who  nine  years  earlier  had  been 
in  command  of  the  French  fleet  which  burned  Winchelsea. 
This  was  the  one  success  scored  on  the  homeward  march, 
for,  as  in  most  of  the  operations  of  the  second  part  of  the 
great  war,  there  was  little  military  result  to  show.  The 
enemy's  attack  had  been  postponed  but  not  prevented, 
for  the  next  month  a  French  fleet  ravaged  the  south  coast 
and  burnt  Portsmouth.  After  providing  for  the  proper 
custody  of  Calais  and  the  neighbouring  fortresses,  Lan 
caster  returned  to  England  in  November.3 

Bitter  tidings  awaited  him  on  his  return.  During 
his  short  absence  in  Picardy  two  events  had  taken  place 

1  The  Duke  appears  to  have  struck  the  coast  near  Dieppe. 
See  Mandements  de  Charles  V,  No.  657,  a  letter  addressed  to  the 
royal  "grenetier  "  at  Dieppe  reciting  that  the  salt-pan  industry 
at  Boutellles   had  been  stopped  owing  to  the  ravages  of   the 
English  army. 

2  Froissart  Luce,  VII,  Ixxxiri-lxxxv. 

3  Foed,  VII,  640-1,  and  Calendars  of  the  Exchequer,  I.  223. 



in  England,  both  significant  in  their  results  upon  his 
fortunes  and  the  fortunes  of  England — the  death  of  his 
mother  and  the  death  of  his  wife. 

On  August  15  Queen  Philippa  died,  and  within  a  month, 
on  the  very  day  on  which  Burgundy's  camp  fires  at 
Tournehem  had  given  the  alarm  to  the  English  army, 
England  was  mourning  for  the  Duchess  of  Lancaster. 

The  year  1369  had  seen  another  outbreak  of  the  great 
plague,  severe  enough  to  be  remembered  as  "  the  third 
pestilence,"  and  Blanche  of  Lancaster  had  fallen  a  victim 
to  the  disease  which  had  already  proved  fatal  to  her 
father  and  her  sister.  The  two  noblest  women  of  the 
English  court  had  passed  away,  and  it  was  fitting  that 
Froissart  should  place  together  in  his  lament  the  names 
of  Philippa  of  Hainault  and  Blanche  of  Lancaster — 

La  bonne,  qui  pourist  en  terre, 
Qui  fu  rol'ne  d'Engleterre; 
*  *  * 

Aussi  sa  fille  de  Lancastre — 
Haro  1    Mettes  moi  une  emplastre 
Sus  le  coer,  car,  quant  m'en  souvient, 
Certes  souspirer  me  couvient, 
Tant  sui  plains  de  melancolie. — 
Elle  morut  jone  et  jolie, 
Environ  de  vingt  et  deux  ans ; 
Gaie,  lie,  friche,  esbatans, 
Douce,  simple,  d'umble  samblance ; 
La  bonne  dame  ot  £  nom  Blanche.1 

Of  the  gentle  consort  of  Edward  III,  whose  last 
thoughts  were  for  those  of  her  household,  whose  last 
prayer  that  the  King,  when  his  hour  came,  would  be 
buried  at  her  side,  history  has  nothing  but  good  to  relate. 
To  many  beside  Froissart  Philippa  "  of  good  memory  " 
was  "  la  plus  gentil  roine,  plus  large  et  plus  courtoise 
que  oncques  regna  en  son  temps."  Her  death  marked 
a  climax  in  the  reign  of  Edward  III.  Of  Philippa  it 
might  truly  have  been  said  that  she  was  "  felix  oppor- 

1  Le  Joli  Buisson  de  Jonece  (Po6siest  vol.  ii,  p.  8). 


tunitate  mortis."  She  lived  to  see  her  husband  and  her 
sons  attain  the  pinnacle  of  military  fame ;  she  had 
welcomed  her  husband  back  from  the  victories  of  Sluys 
and  L'Espagnols-sur-mer  and  Crecy,  and  her  son  from 
Poictiers.  She  died  before  the  great  failures  of  the 
war :  before  the  Good  Parliament  and  the  Peasants' 
rising,  and  she  left  a  place  that  no  one  could  fill.  The 
most  brilliant  court  of  Europe  became  the  most  corrupt. 
After  the  reign  of  Philippa  comes  the  reign  of  Alice 

To  John  of  Gaunt  the  death  of  Blanche  of  Lancaster 
was  a  momentous  loss.  In  his  life  also  the  death  of  his 
consort  draws  the  dividing  line.  Before  it  all  had  gone 
well.  Of  the  dangers  which  were  soon  to  beset  the 
Duke's  path  she  could  foresee  nothing.  Those  belong 
to  a  later  epoch. 

Of  the  sincerity  of  the  Duke's  grief  there  need  be  no 
question,  though  there  is  no  evidence  and  little  proba 
bility  that  we  have  his  own  words  in  the  lament  of 
Chaucer's  Man  in  Black,  the  "  wonder  wel-faringe  knight," 
who  sits  refusing  to  be  comforted,  and  mourning  her 
whom  he  had  lost — 

I  have  of  sorwe  so  gret  woon, 

That  Joye  gete  I  never  noon, 

Now  that  I  see  my  lady  bright, 
Which  I  have  loved  with  al  my  might, 

Is  fro  me  deed,  and  is  a-goon. 

Alas,  o  deeth  !   what  ayleth  thee, 
That  thou  noldest  have  taken  me, 

Whan  that  thou  toke  my  lady  swete  ? 
That  was  so  fayr,  so  fresh,  so  free, 
So  good,  that  men  may  wel  ysee 

Of  al  goodnesse  she  had  no  mete  1 * 

The  Book  of  the  Duchess  is  a  tribute  alike  to  the 
chivalrous  love  of  John  of  Gaunt  for  Blanche  and  to  the 
affection  of  the  poet  for  his  earliest  patroness.  Who 

1  Chaucer,  The  Book  of  the  Duchess,  475-486. 


so  fit  to  offer  consolation  to  one  who  had  loved  and  lost 
as  he  who  himself  knew,  if  dark  hints  are  rightly  inter 
preted,  the  sorrows  of  unrequited  affection  ?  But 
Chaucer  does  not  attempt  to  console.  The  poet's 
tact  saves  him  from  offering  "  vacant  chaff  well  meant 
for  grain."  Master  of  a  subtle  sympathy,  he  knows 
that  the  only  true  consolation  is  to  dwell  on  and  recall 
the  image  of  the  departed.  Therefore  Chaucer  speaks 
of  the  graces  of  person  and  of  character,  of  the  simplicity, 
gentleness  and  beauty  of  the  "  Whyte  "  lady— Blanche 
the  Duchess.  It  was  only  ten  years  since  their  marriage. 
Well  could  Lancaster  cry  with  the  widowed  queen  of 
Chaucer's  story:  u  To  litcl  whyl  our  blisse  lasteth." 
Blanche  had  borne  her  husband  five  children :  two  died 
in  infancy  ;  of  the  three  who  survived  two  were  to  play 
a  leading  part  in  the  story  of  these  times,  for  Henry 
was  destined  for  the  throne  of  England,  and  Philippa 
for  that  of  Portugal 

Blanche  was  buried  in  the  "  Cathedral  Church  of  St. 
Paul  at  London."  There,  near  the  high  altar,  the  Duke 
raised  over  her  body  a  costly  tomb  of  alabaster. 
That  men  might  not  forget  the  form  and  features 
of  the  dead  Duchess,  a  painted  effigy  of  marble  was  placed 
there,  a  monument,  as  time  has  proved,  less  durable 
than  Chaucer's  elegy,  and  all  the  year  round  two  priests 
chanted  masses  for  her  soul  at  an  altar  built  beside 
her  tomb,  and  furnished  with  rich  missal  and  chalice. 
Once  a  year,  on  September  12,  the  anniversary  of 
her  death,  a  solemn  celebration  was  held  in  St.  Paul's. 
The  Duke  and  his  household  attended,  or  if  the  Duke 
were  out  of  England  his  high  officers  took  his  place. 
Gratitude  to  the  memory  of  his  first  wife  never  failed : 
so  long  as  he  lived  the  rites  due  to  religion  and  affection 
were  observed,  and  in  his  will1  the  Duke's  first  injunction 
is  that  he  shall  be  laid  by  her  side.  "  My  body  to  be 

1  See  Appendix  I.  p.  420. 


buried  in  the  Cathedral  Church  of  St.  Paul  of  London, 
near  the  principal  altar,  beside  my  most  dear  late  wife 
Blanche,  who  is  there  interred." * 

But  for  the  time  there  was  little  leisure  for  mourning. 
The  war  had  begun  in  grim  earnest,  and  there  was  work  to 
be  done.  Charles  V  had  planned  a  two-fold  invasion  of 
Aquitaine.  The  Duke  of  Anj  ou,  concentrating  at  Toulouse, 
was  to  advance  by  the  line  of  La  Reole  and  Bergerac.  The 
Duke  of  Berri  was  to  invade  Limousin,  and  the  two 
columns  converging  at  Angouleme,  were  to  besiege  the 
Prince  of  Wales  there.  The  English  King,  on  the  other 
hand,  resolved  to  harry  the  enemy  in  the  north,  and  to 
send  Lancaster  to  the  south  to  reinforce  his  brother. 
The  northern  command  was  given  to  Sir  Robert  Knolles, 
and  soon  Champagne  and  Brie  were  again  in  flames  and 
the  pennon  of  St.  George  was  waving  under  the  walls  of 

In  the  south  the  outlook  for  English  arms  was  gloomy. 
The  plan  of  campaign  of  the  French  had  been  skilfully 
conceived ;  it  only  failed  because  at  the  last  moment 
their  nerve  failed,  and  no  one  dared  to  come  within 
striking  distance  of  the  Black  Prince. 

England  sadly  lacked  the  generalship  which  could  alone 
save  a  losing  cause  and  counteract  the  errors  of  a  fatal 
policy.  Prince  Edward  himself,  wasted  by  disease, 
and  broken  in  all  but  spirit,  was  quite  unfit  to  control 
the  operations  of  a  campaign.  Chandos,  the  best  general 
on  the  English  side,  had  fallen  mortally  wounded  on 
January  i,  1370,  in  a  skirmish  at  the  bridge  of  Lussac,  in  his 
last  hour  saving  his  prisoners  from  the  vengeance  of  his 
men,  with  his  last  breath  commending  to  God  the  King, 

1  Warrants  to  pay  for  the  annual  celebration  and  for  the 
services  of  the  chantry  priests  extend  over  the  whole  period 
covered  by  the  Register  (1372-1382),  and  similar  notices  are 
found  in  the  Receiver-General's  Accounts  for  1391-2.  Duchy  of 
Lanes.  Accts.  ui.  2.  They  are  too  numerous  to  quote,  but  they 
show  the  Duke's  solicitude  for  the  memory  of  his  first  wife. 



and  Prince,  and  the  lady  he  loved.  England  had  lost 
the  one  man  whose  advice  could  have  saved  Aquitaine 
and  whose  skill  might  even  then  have  retrieved  her 

But  while  the  English  forces  had  no  man  of  genius  left 
to  lead  them,  France  had  recalled  du  Guesclin  from  Castile, 
where,  in  his  new  lordship  of  Molina,  he  was  detained, 
so  rumour  said,  not  by  loyalty  to  his  new  master  alone, 
but  by  the  yet  more  potent  spell  of  Castilian  beauty, 
a  triumph  not  foreseen  by  the  prophetic  vision  of  his 
Breton  wife. 

At  the  end  of  June  John  of  Gaunt  was  at  Plymouth 
in  command  of  a  force  of  300  men-at-arms  and  500 
archers  ready  to  sail  for  the  south.  *  But  the  government 
did  not  rely  on  force  alone.  The  time  had  come,  so  it 
appeared,  to  try  the  effect  of  persuasion  on  Gascon 
discontent.  In  the  vain  hope  that  the  removal  of  the 
fiscal  grievance  would  at  the  same  time  remove  its 
results,  the  King  revoked  the  objectionable  fouage. 
Further,  he  empowered  Lancaster,  with  the  concurrence 
of  the  Prince,  to  pardon  and  reinstate  all  rebels  who  would 
return  to  their  allegiance.2  In  England  it  was  recognized 

1  Froissart,  K  deL.  vii,  480-2,  viii,  13-15.  Orders  for  men-at- 
arms  and  archers  to  be  ready  at  Southampton  and  Plymouth  by 
the  Sunday  next  before  the  Feast  of  Pentecost.  Rot.  Franc. 
44  Edw.  Ill,  m.  25. 

Payment  to  sergeants-at-arms,  etc.,  sent  from  the  Thames  to 
Lyme,  Hull,  Newcastle,  Bristol  and  the  Severn,  Weymouth 
and  the  coasts  of  Cornwall  and  Wales,  to  arrest  ships.  Issue  Roll, 
May  15,  44  Edw.  III. 

The  Duke  received  over  ^9,000  for  the  expenses  of  his  army, 
and  something  over  £2,000  for  freight  (Issue  Rdl}  May  9  and  22, 
June  15  and  20,  44  Edw.  III.),  but  he  had  to  borrow  heavily  as 
well.  (Reg.)- 

The  payments  to  the  Duke  and  his  retinue  were  :— The  Duke, 
265.  Bd.  a  day  ;  three  bannerets,  8s. ;  eighty  knights,  45. ;  216 
men-at-arms,  2s.,  and  500  archers,  i2d.  a  day.  (Issue  Roll,  44 
Edw.  III.  May  9).  Sir  Hugh  Calverly  was  among  the  bannerets. 

2  For  the  Duke's  powers,  dated  July  i,  1370,  see  Rot.  Vase. 



that  the  Black  Prince  had  become  unfitted  by  his  illness 
for  public  business.  Hence  the  large  discretionary 
powers  granted  to  John  of  Gaunt  by  the  King.  As  yet 
events  had  not  made  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  the  unpopular 
figure  which  he  appears  a  few  years  later,  but  sub 
sequently  his  enemies  were  quick  to  seize  upon  this 
point  and  to  attempt  to  twist  it  into  evidence  of 
unscrupulous  ambition.  The  grant  of  these  legal  powers, 
however,  remained  a  matter  of  purely  academic  interest. 
The  fouage  had  done  its  work  ;  revocation  had  no  effect 
upon  the  political  situation. 

Step  by  step,  castle  by  castle,  and  town  by  town  the 
French  were  gaining  ground  and  pushing  back  the 
frontiers  of  English  Aquitaine.  In  the  autumn  the  Duke 
of  Berri  scored  a  great  success.  He  had  been  in  com 
munication  with  Jean  de  Cros,  Bishop  of  Limoges,  and  on 
August  24  the  Bishop  surrendered  the  town  to  the  enemy 
and  received  a  French  garrison.  Apart  from  the  military 
importance  of  the  gain,  English  prestige  had  suffered 
a  severe  blow.  The  example  of  Limoges  was  sure  to  have 
weight  wherever  loyalty  to  the  English  crown  was 
wavering,  and  it  seemed  as  though  with  the  defection  of 
the  capital  the  whole  of  Limousin  would  be  lost.  The 
loss  of  Limoges  roused  the  Prince  to  one  last  burst  of 
passionate  energy.  Suffering  in  body  and  in  mind, 
embittered  by  the  loss  of  his  physical  strength  and  the 
humiliating  sense  of  failure,  and  infuriated  by  the  trea 
chery  of  Jean  de  Cros  (for  the  Bishop  had  been  his  friend 
and  councillor,  and  had  held  his  first-born  son  at  the 
font),  the  Black  Prince  made  a  vow  of  vengeance,  and 
unhappily  for  himself  and  for  others,  made  it  good. 
He  swore  "  by  his  father's  soul,  by  the  which  he  was 
never  forsworn,"  that  he  would  have  Limoges  and  with 
it  the  lives  of  every  one  who  dwelt  in  that  city  of  traitors. 

I,  158.  12.  They  are  printed  in  Lettres  de  Rois,  p.  176,  No.  xcviii. 
Cf.  Record  Report,  xxxi.  App.  I.  p.  36. 



Lancaster  landed  at  Bordeaux  in  the  late  summer 
of  1370.  For  once  du  Guesclin's  generalship  failed  him. 
By  the  middle  of  July  he  had  reached  Toulouse.  The 
obvious  duty  of  the  French  general  was  to  prevent  the 
junction  of  Lancaster's  comparatively  small  force  with 
the  main  body  of  the  Prince's  army,  some  five  thousand 
of  all  ranks,  lying  at  Cognac,  but  he  let  the  golden  oppor 
tunity  pass.  The  Duke  joined  his  brother  at  Cognac, 
and  their  united  forces  marched  on  the  doomed  city.1 
At  the  news  of  the  English  advance  Limoges  began,  too 
late,  to  repent  its  choice.  Berri  had  taken  possession 
of  the  city  on  August  24.  The  next  day  he  left  it  to  its 
fate,  and  no  entreaties  induced  him  to  attempt  to  raise 
the  siege.  But  he  had  left  a  stout  garrison  under  Jean 
de  Villemur,  and  the  besieged  fought  with  the  courage  of 
despair.  From  the  day  the  English  Army  left  Cognac 
to  the  end  of  the  siege  the  command  was  virtually 
entrusted  to  Lancaster,  for  the  Prince  was  too  ill  even  to 
ride :  he  was  carried  in  a  litter,  and  was  forced  to  leave 
the  conduct  of  siege  operations  to  his  brother. 

Limoges  was  well  victualled  and  provided  with  artillery. 
The  besiegers  also  had  artillery  with  them,  but  they 
relied  chiefly  on  mining  operations  to  carry  the  city, 
and  there  Lancaster  directed  in  person.  One  of  the 
French  chronicles  has  a  strange  story  of  how  once  miners 
and  counter  miners  met  beneath  the  groutid  when  the 
Duke  was  present.  Lancaster  and  Jean  de  Villemur 
for  a  long  time  fought  hand  to  hand.  Then  the  Duke 

1  For  the  siege  of  Limoges  see  Chr.  Vol.  209.  Chr.  Norm.  195  ; 
Froissart,  K.  de  L.  vlii.  29-43 >  54;  xvii.  502.  Cf.  Delpit,  Collec 
tion,  ccxviii,  ccxxi.,  and  ccxxxi.  Petite  Chronique  de  Guyenne, 
§  62,  L'an  MCCCLXX  en  jun  fo  destruita  la  siutat  deLemodoges 
per  monsehnor  lo  prince  de  Anglaterra.  The  Chronique  Romane 
of  Petit  Thalamus  is  the  only  authority  for  tlie  date  ;  Item, 
aquel  au  meteyss  a  xix  jorns  del  mes  de  setembre,  fou  preza  e 
destructia  la  ciutat  de  Lymotoges  per  lo  princep  de  Galas  lo  qual 
y  avia  tengut  ceti  per  alcun  temps  petit  p.  (385).  Cf.  Livre  des 
Coutumes,  p.  688. 



says  :  "  Qui  es  tu  qui  si  fort  te  combas  a  moi  ?  Es  tu 
comte  ou  tu  es  baron  ?  Nennin,  dist  Vinemeur,  mais 
je  suis  ung  povre  chevalier.  Adonc  dit  le  Due  de 
Lancastre  :  Je  te  prie  que  tu  me  diez  ton  nom,  puis  que 
tu  es  chevalier,  car  tel  porras  estre  que  j'auray  honneur 
de  m'estre  essaye  a  toy,  ou  tel  que  non."  Done  dit 
Vinemeur :  "  Saches  Angloiz  que  oncquez  en  armes  ne 
regniez  mon  nom.  J'ay  nom  Jehan  de  Vinemeur."  A 
done  dit  le  Due  de  Lancaster :  "  Monseigneur  Jehan 
de  Vinemeur,  j'ay  bien  grant  joye  que  je  me  suyesprouv<§ 
contre  si  bon  chevalier  comme  vous  estes.  Si  sachiez 
que  je  suys  le  Due  de  Lancastre."  The  story  may  be 
only  a  confused  version  of  a  better-attested  duel  fought 
above  ground,  but  the  account  is  singularly  circumstan 
tial  and  minute,  describing  how  the  Duke  was  wounded 
by  a  prop  which  gave  way  in  the  mine.  However  this 
may  be,  it  was  Lancaster's  mine  which  brought  about 
the  fall  of  Limoges,  one  of  the  few  instances  in  the 
history  of  the  Hundred  Years  War  of  a  successful  attack 
on  a  walled  city. 

After  a  month's  work  everything  was  reported  ready. 

The  word  was  given  and  the  mine  fired.    A  hundred  feet 

of  rampart  and  wall  crashed  to  the  ground,  and  over 

the    ruins    the    invaders   rushed  to  the  assault.     The 

first  attack  was  beaten  off ;   with  the  second  Limoges 

was  carried.    The  Prince's  vengeance  had  begun.     He 

had  issued  his  orders  in  person.    They  were  ruthless, 

and  they  were  obeyed.    Neither  age  nor  sex,   neither 

man,  woman  nor  child  was  to  be  spared.    Limoges  was 

a  city  of  rebels  and  traitors,  and  the  Prince  had  hardened 

his   heart :    the   whole  population  was  given  up  to  the 

vengeance  of  the  besieging  army.    For  once  the  Black 

Prince,    the    pattern    of    chivalry,    stained   his   name 

and  his  knightly   honour.    For    once    even    Froissart's 

insouciance  forsakes  him.    Usually  so  indifferent  to  the 

miseries  of  the  "  povre  gens,"  Froissart  melts  at  the 



picture  of  weak  women  and  children  crying  out  for  mercy 
and  crying  in  vain.  uLaeut  grant  pit6 ;  car  homrnes, 
femmes  et  enfans  se  jetoient  en  genouls  devant  le  prince 
et  crioient :  c  Merci,  gentils  sires,  merci ! '  Mais  il  estoit 
si  enflammes  d'ai'r  que  point  n'i  entendoit.  ...  II 
n'est  si  durs  coers,  se  il  fust  adont  a  Limoges  et 
il  li  souvenist  de  Dieu,  qui  ne  plorast  tenrement 
dou  grant  meschief  qui  y  estoit,  car  plus  de  trois  mille 
personnes,  hommes,  femmes  et  enfans,  y  furent 
devyet  et  d^colet  celle  journ<§e.  Diex  en  ait  les  arnes, 
car  il  furent  bien  martir." 

The  carnage  was  greatest  near  the  Cathedral  of 
St.  6tienne.  There,  in  later  days,  men  raised  a  statue 
to  Notre  Dame  de  Bonne  D61ivrance,  the  Madonna  hold 
ing  the  Child  in  her  arms,  and  with  one  hand  covering 
His  face  to  shut  out  the  sight  of  the  slaughter.  History 
would  willingly  follow  the  example  and  draw  the  veil 
over  the  darkest  day  in  the  life  of  the  Black  Prince. 

At  length  the  massacre  was  stopped,  and  that  in  a 
way  characteristic  of  the  hardening  caste  feeling  of  the 
fourteenth  century.  What  had  been  refused  to  the  poor 
and  helpless  citizens  of  Limoges  was  granted  to  the 
courage  of  a  few  knights  and  gentlemen  of  the  garrison. 
Some  eighty  of  these,  with  Jean  de  Villemur  the  captain, 
withdrew  to  one  place,  put  their  backs  to  the  wall,  and 
resolved  to  sell  their  lives  dearly. 

Lancaster  fought  the  captain  of  the  garrison  hand  to 
hand,  while  his  brother  Cambridge  and  the  Earl  of 
Pembroke  each  singled  out  his  man.  It  happened  that 
in  the  thick  of  the  fight  Prince  Edward  was  carried  past 
in  his  litter.  Touched  by  the  gallantry  of  the  French 
garrison,  who  knew  that  they  were  doomed  and  were 
fighting  heavy  odds,  the  Prince  spared  their  lives  and 
ordered  the  slaughter  to  cease. 

So  soon  as  the  town  was  carried  the  first  care  of  the 
besiegers  was  to  find  the  arch-traitor  who  had  brewed 



the  mischief.  Jean  de  Cros  was  caught  in  his  palace, 
and  taken  chained  and  bareheaded  before  the  Prince, 
who  swore  by  God  and  St.  George  that  he  would  have 
his  life.  It  was  a  great  thing  to  hang  a  bishop,  even 
if  that  bishop  were  the  traitor  who  had  surrendered  the 
key  of  a  whole  province  to  the  enemy.  But  in  the 
heat  of  Prince  Edward's  fury  it  is  doubtful  if  his  tonsure 
could  have  saved  Jean  de  Cros,  and  Froissart  evidently 
thinks  that  his  life  lay  in  the  balance.  It  was  Lancaster 
who  saved  him.  The  Duke,  who  had  not  yet  learnt  to 
hate  political  bishops,  begged  that  the  traitor  might  be 
given  to  him  to  deal  with  at  his  pleasure,  and  when 
the  first  burst  of  the  Prince's  resentment  had  passed, 
and  he  was  left  to  look  on  the  ruin  he  had  wrought, 
Lancaster  was  allowed  to  send  the  Bishop  a  prisoner 
to  the  Papal  court. 

The  Prince's  vengeance  was  achieved.  He  had  ful 
filled  his  vow;  the  English  army  marched  back  to 
Cognac,  leaving  Limoges  a  desert  and  a  ruin. 

The  feverish  burst  of  energy  which  had  carried  the 
Black  Prince  to  Limoges  was  succeeded  by  the  usual 
reaction.  The  strain  had  been  more  than  his  health 
could  bear.  His  vengeance  was  satisfied  ;  he  had  saved 
his  word  ;  he  could  not  save  Aquitaine. 

On  reaching  Cognac  at  the  beginning  of  October, 
the  Prince  made  a  grant  in  tail  to  his  brother  of  the 
castles  and  towns  of  Bergerac  and  of  Roche-sur-Yon.1 
It  was  his  last  act  of  sovereignty.  Three  days  later  he 
abandoned  the  government  of  the  Principality,  formally 
appointing  Lancaster  his  Lieutenant  and  surrendering 
Aquitaine  into  his  hands.2  Both  the  Prince  and  his 
brother  must  have  been  aware  that  to  hold  what  remained 

1  Dated  Cognac,  8  Oct.  1370.    Delpit  Collection,  ccxviii.  and 


Dated  Cognac,  Oct.  ii,  1370.    Delpit  Collection,  ccxx.   Frois 
sart,  K.  de  L.  viii.  60-64;  xvii.  505. 



was  a  difficult  task,  to  recover  what  was  already  lost 
well-nigh  impossible.  The  treasury  was  empty.  Those 
of  the  Gascon  barons  who  had  accepted  French 
suzerainty  were  committed  hopelessly  and  beyond  recall, 
and  the  struggle  between  the  English  Gascons  and  the 
French  Gascons  was  fought  out  with  all  the  bitterness 
of  a  civil  war.1 

A  stroke  of  the  pen  could  not  undo  the  past,  nor  stop 
the  slow  but  sure  advance  of  the  enemy  east  and  north 
and  south. 

By  the  terms  of  the  indenture  of  agreement  drawn  -up 
between  the  Prince  and  his  Lieutenant  it  is  expressly 
stipulated  that  under  no  circumstances  is  Lancaster  bound 
to  continue  in  office  after  June  24,  1371.  Then,  failing 
the  appearance  of  a  new  lieutenant,  the  Constable  and 
Steward  of  Aquitaine  are  to  assume  charge  of  the 
Principality.  At  the  root  of  the  political  situation  lay 
the  financial  embarrassment  of  the  country.8  Men-at- 
arms,  as  Froissart  reminds  us,  cannot  be  expected  to 
fight  without  their  wages.  If  the  Duke's  forces  find  their 

1  Chandos-Herald  regards  the  war  as  a  civil  war — 

La  v6issez  guerre  mortele 

Et  en  plusours  lieux  moult  cruele 

Le  frere  fut  centre  le  frere 

Et  le  ntz  fut  centre  le  piere 

Chescun  de  eux  sa  part  tenoit 

A  quel  part  que  meulx  li  plesoit 


There  was  no  principle  at  issue :  a  good  instance  is  to  be 
found  in  the  Pope's  own  family.  One  kinsman,  Jean  de  Cros, 
had  betrayed  Limoges  to  the  French  ;  another,  William  Viscount 
of  Turenne,  he  protests,  had  always  been  faithful  to  the  English 
cause.  (See  letter  to  Lancaster  dated  Vttleneuve,  Non.  Aug. 
1371,  Papal  Letters,  iv.  96). 

3  The  wine  duties  levied  in  the  Isle  of  Oleron  produced  a  small 
revenue  for  the  war  chest,  Ct.  Warrant  dated  3  May,  1371, 
to  Sir  Thomas  Percy,  Steward  of  Poitou  and  Governor  of 
Oleron  to  pay  600  franks  from  this  source  to  the  Marshal  of 
Aquitaine  (Delpit  Collection,  ccxxviii.). 



pay  in  arrears  for  more  than  a  month  he  is  to  be  at  once 
free  from  all  responsibility. 

So  with  feelings  of  disappointment  at  the  past  and 
misgivings  for  the  future,  Prince  Edward  laid  down  his 
burden.  No  other  course  was  possible.  His  doctors 
were  despairing  of  his  life,  and  ordering  his  immediate 
return  to  England.  At  Bordeaux  the  Duke  of  Lancaster 
was  presented  to  a  Parliament  of  the  loyal  barons,  and 
received  from  them  the  oath  of  fealty ;  the  Prince  was 
free  to  go  back  to  the  lingering  death  which  awaited 
him  in  England.  Yet  the  cup  of  bitterness  was  not  even 
now  filled  to  the  brim ;  one  more  sorrow  was  in  store 
for  him.  To  the  bitterness  of  failure  and  the  loss  of 
health  and  strength  was  added  the  death  of  his  elder 
son,  Prince  Edward,  a  child  of  six,  who  died  on  the  eve 
of  the  departure  for  England.  Prince  Richard  alone 
survived  to  continue  the  eldest  line  of  succession. 

Lancaster  was  left  at  Bordeaux  to  bury  his  nephew, 
for  the  Prince  was  too  ill  to  stay  for  his  funeral,1  and 
then  to  take  up  the  task  of  holding  Aquitaine. 

The  work  began  without  delay.  No  sooner  had  his 
brother  hoisted  sail,  than  news  came  to  Bordeaux  that 
the  Breton  garrison  of  P&igueux  had  made  a  sally  and 
captured  Montpont-sur-1'Isle.2  Lancaster  began  his  task 
with  energy.  He  marched  out  to  Montpont,3  invested 

1  Kervyn  de  Lettenhove.  Froissart.  Note,  vol.  viii.,  432.     The 
body    was    brought    to    England    later  by    the    command    of 
Richard  II. 

2  Chr.  Vol.  p.  208,  Chr.  Norm.  p.  200.     The   town   in  ques 
tion  is  Montpont-sur-risle    (Dordogne    arr.    de    Riberac),    not 
Montpont  in  Rouergne,  with  which  it  has  often  been  confused. 
It  was  taken  by  a  column  from  Perigueux,  which  helps  to  fix  the 
situation;    Chr.  Norm,  is  explicit  as  to  the  site — "  bien  avant 
vers  Bordeaux."     Gregory  XI,  in  his  anxiety  for  peace  writes  to 
Charles  \r  asking  him  to  forbid  the  Duke  of  Anjou  to  attempt 
the  relief  of  Montpont,  at  least  in  his  own  person  (Datum  sub  sig- 
neto  nostro  secreto,   14    Kal.  Feb.  Avignon  1371  (Papal   Letters, 
iv.  92). 

3  Froissart  K.  de  L.  viii,  64-76 ;  xvii.  506-7,  Cf .  Petit  Thala- 



the  town  closely,  and  after  a  vigorous  siege  lasting  some 
weeks,  won  it  back  from  the  French.  Montpont  was 
only  a  pawn  in  the  great  game  of  the  French  conquest 
of  Aquitaine,  but  in  one  respect  its  capture  was  a 
triumph  for  the  new  Lieutenant.  For  the  second  time 
he  had  scored  a  success  over  the  great  Breton  general. 
Du  Guesclin  had  marched  to  raise  the  siege,  but  he  came 
too  late — only  in  time  to  find  the  English  flag  floating 
from  its  walls. 

For  six  months  after  the  capture  of  Montpont 
Lancaster  fought  on  the  ever-shifting  frontier  of  Aqui 
taine  with  varying  fortune.  Montpont  fell  in  February; 
he  is  back  at  Bordeaux  in  March  ;  in  April  he  is  at  Niort 
in  the  north  ;  in  May  at  Saintes  and  Pons,  and  he  is  back 
again  at  Bordeaux  in  the  summer.  Here  and  there  a 
Gascon  baron  turned  French  and  carried  over  his  lands 
and  castles  to  the  enemy ;  here  and  there  the  English 
won  back  some  stronghold  from  the  French.  The  cam 
paign,  if  it  deserves  the  name,  was  one  of  sieges  and 
desultory  fighting.  There  were  no  pitched  battles  ;  there 
was  nothing  like  a  sustained  plan  of  operations.  But  the 
general  result  is  clear  enough.  Little  by  little  the 
French  were  gaining  ground,  and  pushing  back  the 
frontiers  of  the  Principality. 

Time  passed,  and  with  it  the  term  of  Lancaster's  lieu 
tenancy.  The  terms  of  the  engagement  had  been  more 
than  fulfilled  on  the  Duke's  part,  for  since  February 
his  men  had  not  had  a  day's  pay  from  the  exchequer  of 
Aquitaine.  The  Duke  had  been  fighting  his  brother's 
battles  at  his  own  cost,  and  the  financial  burden  could 
be  borne  no  longer.  In  July  he  summoned  a  meeting 
of  the  barons  and  explained  his  position.  On  June 

mus  (385) :  Item  aquelan  meteyss,  en  lo  mes  de  febrier,  fou  pres 
e  destrug  lo  castel  de  Montpaon  en  Peiragorc  per  lo  due  de 
Leftcastre  e  mossen  Aymo  frayre,  del  dich  princep  los  quals  y  avian 
teugut  ceti  per  alcun  temps ;  and  Livre  des  Coutumes,  688, 
and  Petite  Chronique  de  Guyenne,  §  63. 



24  his  legal  responsibilities  had  ceased.  Although  for 
the  last  six  months  his  men-at-arms  and  archers  had 
not  been  paid,  and  he  would  therefore  have  been  justified 
in  laying  down  the  command,  he  had  consented  to  remain 
at  the  head  of  affairs.  Hitherto,  out  of  consideration 
for  the  exhaustion  of  the  country,  he  had  levied  no  aid 
or  tax.  If  he  stayed  on  he  would  be  compelled  to 
"  live  on  the  country  "  with  his  army,  a  course  which  did 
not  tend  to  the  honour  of  the  King  his  father,  or  the 
Prince,  and  which  was  not  for  the  interest  of  the  Princi 
pality.  So  long  as  he  remained  in  Aquitaine  he  was 
ready  to  defend  its  territories  against  enemies  without 
or  rebels  within,  but  he  wished  to  be  relieved  of  formal 
responsibility.1  On  July  21  the  Duke  resigned  his  powers, 
and  the  control  of  affairs  was  taken  over  by  two  of  the 
most  trusted  officers  of  the  Black  Prince,  Jean  de  Graily 
Captal  de  Buch  and  Sir  Thomas  Felton,  Constable  and 
Seneschal  of  Aquitaine. 

This  surrender  of  the  Lieutenancy  of  Aquitaine  is 
bound  up  with  one  of  the  events  which  had  the  most 
profound  influence  upon  the  Duke's  life — his  second 
marriage.  Ambition  has  been  admitted  on  all  sides 
to  have  been  the  dominant  note  in  the  character  of  John 
of  Gaunt,  but  satisfied  with  this  general  impression, 
none  too  explicit,  history  has  not  always  consented  to 
dwell  for  a  moment  on  her  judgment  and  analyse  the 
motives  at  the  root  of  this  ambition.  It  is  easy  to  take 
a  statical  view  of  a  man's  character,  to  hit  upon  some 
striking  moment,  some  notorious  and  clearly  understood 
phase,  and  by  a  hasty  but  unsafe  generalisation  to  read 
all  events  previous  and  subsequent  in  the  light  of  this 
alone.  In  1371  it  was  John's  ambition  to  play  a  great 
part  among  the  Princes  of  Europe.  He  had  not  yet 
attempted  to  dominate  the  domestic  politics  of  England, 
and  some  years  were  to  elapse  before  the  illness  which 

1  Delpit  Collection,  ccxxx 



effaced  the  Black  Prince,  and  the  dishonoured  dotage 
of  the  King,  forced  Edward's  favourite  son  to  act  as  the 
representative  of  the  Crown. 

In  1371  the  Duke  had  set  his  heart  on  Continental  sover 
eignty,  and  to  realize  the  dreams  of  foreign  ambition 
natural  to  the  son  of  Edward  III,  he  endeavoured  first  to 
exploit  to  the  full  the  dynastic  claims  of  his  inheritance, 
and  then  when  this  failed  to  create  new  claims  by  foreign 

On  the  shadowy  borderland  of  the  great  Lancastrian 
patrimony  there  were  several  claims  which  a  man 
ambitious  of  power  and  dignity  might  wish  to  assert. 
One  of  these  was  the  right  to  the  Earldom  of  Moray, 
which  David  II  had  granted  to  Henry  Duke  of  Lancaster, 
with  remainder  to  his  co-heirs  for  their  lives,  and  which 
therefore  should  have  descended  with  the  other  Lancastrian 
titles  to  Blanche  and  John  of  Gaunt.1  The  grant  is  indis 
putable.  It  passed  under  the  great  seal  of  Scotland  and 
was  witnessed  by  the  leading  magnates  of  the  kingdom, 
but  not  even  John  of  Gaunt  dreamt  of  asserting  his  right 
to  the  Scottish  earldom. 

With  another  claim  even  more  remote  and  more  difficult 
to  make  good,  it  was  otherwise.  The  Duke  claimed  the 
County  of  Provence.  To  revive  a  long-dormant  and 
half-forgotten  right  like  this  is  characteristic  both  of  the 
Duke's  temper  and  of  his  age — an  age  in  which  dynastic 
considerations  determine  foreign  policy,  and  kings  and 
princes  haggle  like  lawyers  over  every  clause  in  the 
family  title  deeds. 

Such  as  it  was,  the  claim  arose  in  this  way.  Raymond 
VI  of  Provence  had  four  daughters.  All  were  beautiful, 
and  all  were  wooed  by  royal  suitors.  Margaret,  the 
eldest,  married  Saint  Louis ;  the  second  daughter, 
Eleanor,  married  Henry  III  of  England ;  while  Sanchia, 

1  Dated  Dundee,  April  5,  30  David  II.  (Record  Report. 
xxxv.  App.  (i)  No.  119). 



the  third,  married  his  brother,  Richard  Earl  of  Cornwall. 
The  County  of  Provence  passed  with  the  hand  of  the 
youngest,  Beatrice,  to  Charles  of  Anjou,  brother  of  Saint 
Louis.  Charles,  thus  Count  of  Provence  in  the  right  of 
his  wife,  became  in  1268  King  of  Naples  and  Sicily. 
The  Angevin  inheritance,  robbed  of  one  kingdom  by  the 
Sicilian  Vespers  in  1282,  passed  through  the  descendants 
of  Charles  to  Joanna  Queen  of  Naples  and  Countess  of 
Provence,  who  held  it  when  John  of  Gaunt  put  forward 
his  claim. 

Though  the  youngest  of  Raymond's  daughters  had 
been  allowed  to  carry  the  County  to  her  husband  and 
her  children,  her  elder  sister  Eleanor,  Queen  of  Henry  III, 
retained  or  claimed  to  retain  certain  rights  in  Provence. 
These  she  made  over  to  her  grandsons  Thomas  and 
Henry,  Earls  of  Lancaster,  and  their  issue,  and  from 
Henry  they  passed  with  the  rest  of  the  patrimony  to 
Blanche  of  Lancaster  and  her  husband.  Queen  Eleanor's 
grant  had  been  confirmed  by  Edward  I  and  Edward  II.1 
It  remained  a  dead  letter,  but  it  was  not  forgotten, 
nor  was  John  of  Gaunt  a  man  to  lose  sight  of  any  claim 
which  inheritance  might  bring  him.  When  he  came 
back  to  England  from  the  council  at  Bayonne,  at  which 
Don  Pedro  had  poured  out  his  sorrows  and  his  promises 
to  the  Gascon  barons,  he  procured  a  renewal  of  the 
time-honoured  grant  of  his  ancestress.2  The  moment 
chosen  to  revive  this  visionary  right  is  suggestive.  At 
the  council  of  Bayonne  there  was  another  royal  suitor 
besides  Don  Pedro  entreating  Prince  Edward's  help, 
Dom  Jayme,  the  de  jure  King  of  Majorca,  and 
husband  of  the  same  Joanna  who  now  called  herself 
Queen  of  Naples  and  Countess  of  Provence.  Was  some 
concession  as  to  the  Lancastrian  claim  to  be  part  of  the 

1  Dated  York,  June  5,  1313  (Delpit  Collection,  xcix.). 

2  Inspeximus  of  the  letters  patent  of  Edward  II,  dated  West 
minster,  30  October,  1366  (Delpit  ibid,  cci.  p.  124.) 



price  to  be  paid  by  Dom  Jayme  for  his  restoration  to 
his  Balearic  kingdom  ?  The  conjecture  is  tempting, 
but  if  there  is  anything  in  it,  it  is  more  than  probable 
that  Dom  Jayme  was  reckoning  without  his  consort, 
for  Joanna  of  Naples  had  no  intention  of  being  dis 
possessed  of  the  County  of  Provence.  The  disastrous 
ending  to  the  campaign  of  1367  put  an  end  once  and  for 
all  to  the  knight-errantry  of  the  Black  Prince.  With 
Aquitaine  in  arms  he  had  enough  to  do  in  setting  his  own 
house  in  order,  and  was  compelled  to  abandon  the 
succour  of  distressed  monarchs,  Dom  Jayme  among  the 
number.  Had  it  been  otherwise,  the  Prince  might 
perhaps  have  been  engaged  by  his  brother  in  an  attempt 
to  make  good  this  far-fetched  claim. 

What  is  certain  is  that  Lancaster's  ambitions  became 
known,  and  that  Queen  Joanna  took  alarm.  For  the  King 
dom  of  Sicily  she  owned  the  suzerainty  of  the  Apostolic  See, 
and  the  Pope  took  up  the  cause  of  his  vassal.  The  next 
year  Urban  sent  a  legate  to  the  English  court  with  a  Bull  of 
remonstrance.1  The  Duke's  rights  were  denied  in  round 
terms,  and  the  King  was  entreated  not  to  allow  his  am 
bitious  son  to  take  up  arms  in  an  unjust  quarrel  and  so  to 
disturb  the  peace  of  princes.  Negotiations  dragged  on  for 
several  years,  of  course  to  no  purpose.  As  late  as  1371 
Gregory  XI  issued  a  mandate  to  the  Bishops  of  London 
and  Worcester  to  inform  themselves  as  to  the  Duke's 
rights  and  to  report  to  the  Curia,2  but  needless  to  say  no 
English  army  invaded  Provence,  and  the  Duke  never 
took  any  practical  steps  to  become  Count  of  Provence. 

1  Dated  Viterbo,  vii.  Kal.  August,  5  Urban  V.  1367  (Foed  VI. 
569).     Baines   confuses   the  claim  to  the  County  of  Provence 
with  an  impossible  claim  to  the  Kingdom  of  Sicily  (History  of 
the  Duchy  of  Lancaster,  351). 

2  Dated  Avignon,  2  Kal.  April,  1371.  Papal  Letters,  iv,  169;  99. 
Cf.  Warrant  to  Ralf  de  Erghum  his  Chancellor  to  pay  40^.  to  a 
messenger  who  brought  the  Pope's  Bull  touching  his  right  to  the 
County  of  Provence,  dated  The  Savoy,  April  17,  46  Edw.  Ill) 
(1372)  Reg.  I.  f.  146. 



Nevertheless,  the  foreign  ambitions  remained.  John 
of  Gaunt  had  not  given  up  the  game.  The  luck  was 
against  him;  he  doubled  the  stakes.  There  were  bigger 
prizes  than  Provence  to  be  won ;  one  of  these  was  the 
throne  of  Don  Pedro,  the  crown  of  Castile  and  Leon. 

In  the  flight  from  Castile  in  1366  Don  Pedro  had 
brought  with  him  to  Bordeaux  his  three  daughters, 
Beatrice,  Constance,  and  Isabel.  The  eldest  took  the 
veil  and  died  soon  after.  The  second  remained  the 
heiress  of  Castile,  and  with  her  sister  Isabel  the  sole  sur 
vivor  of  the  House  of  Burgundy. 

An  emigree  Princess,  living  on  the  charity  of  a  foreign 
court,  without  dynastic  alliances,  and  having  for  friends 
only  the  few  courtiers  who  still  clung  to  the  fortunes  of  the 
fallen  House,  Constance  must  have  found  her  position  at 
Bordeaux  doubtful  and  difficult.  She  must  have  seen 
about  her  the  evidence  of  her  father's  ill  faith  in  the  ruin 
of  the  Black  Prince  and  the  rebellion  of  Aquitaine. 

But  if  she  inherited  nothing  else,  the  heiress  of  Don 
Pedro  had  something  of  that  fierce  tenacity  of  purpose 
which  had  sustained  her  father  single-handed  in  his  life 
long  struggle  with  the  feudal  anarchy,  and  she  had  in  no 
small  measure  the  pride  of  race  and  instinct  of  royalty, 
and  all  the  exile's  bitter  love  for  her  native  land. 

Lancaster's  ambition,  or  as  Froissart  puts  it,  his 
council,  suggested  a  match.  To  the  Duke,  Constance  of 
Castile  stood  for  boundless  possibilities  of  adventurous 
ambition.  To  Constance,  the  alliance  presented  a  ready 
means  of  escape  from  the  difficulties  of  her  position,  and 
perhaps  the  only  possibility  of  making  the  dream  of  her 
youth  a  reality — the  overthrow  of  the  usurper,  the  traitor 
who  had  stabbed  her  father  after  the  fatal  day  of  Mon- 
tiel,  and  the  restoration  of  the  legitimate  line. 

Though  the  succour  of  distressed  princesses  might  fall 
in  perhaps  with  the  Duke's  humour — for  motives  are 
often  mixed  and  even  politicians  are  men— there  was  no 



pretence  on  either  side  of  any  motive  but  convenience. 
Chaucer  has  no  delicate  idyll  of  a  romantic  courtship,  no 
meed  of  a  melodious  tear  when  thirteen  years  later  the 
"Queen of  Castile"  followed  Blanche  the  Duchess  to  the 

"  For  better  or  for  worse "  the  die  was  cast.  In 
September,  1371,  at  Roquefort,1  the  Duke  married  his 
second  wife.  Constance  of  Castile  became  Duchess  of 
Lancaster  and,  with  a  less  certain  title,  John  of  Gaunt 
became  "  King  of  Castile  and  Leon.5'  When  soon  after 
wards  Edmund  Earl  of  Cambridge  married  her  younger 
sister  Isabella  the  sole  survivors  of  the  House  of 
Burgundy  had  carried  their  rights  of  royalty  to  King 
Edward's  sons. 

In  November  Lancaster  landed  at  Plymouth  with  his 
bride.  As  the  cortege  passed  through  Exeter,  Win 
chester  and  Guildford  to  London,  curious  eyes  might  have 
noted  new  faces  in  the  retinue  of  "  Monseigneur  d'Es- 
paigne,"  Spanish  knights  wearing  the  Lancastrian  livery, 
and  a  train  of  Spanish  ladies-in-waiting  of  the  "  Queen 
of  Castile." 

1  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  viii.  104-7  ;  but  according  to  xvii.  514,  the 
marriage  took  place  at  St.  Andrew. 


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Chapter  V 


THAT  Lancaster's  second  marriage  had  any  imme 
diate  result  upon  the  relations  of  France  and  Castile 
is  extremely  doubtful. 

It  has  been  argued  that  Lancaster's  claim  threw  Don 
Enrique  into  the  arms  of  France  and  engaged  England 
in  a  struggle  with  two  enemies  instead  of  one ;  but  this 
argument  overlooks  the  fact  that  in  1372  the  offensive 
and  defensive  alliance  of  the  Kings  of  France  and  Castile 
was  three  years  old.1  Najera  was  a  defeat  for  the  French : 
Montiel  was  a  victory  for  the  French.  Don  Enrique  held 
his  throne  by  the  grace  and  favour  of  the  French  King, 
and  to  him  at  least  the  alliance  with  the  ultramontane 
neighbour  was  from  the  first  a  cardinal  point  of  policy, 
and  indeed  a  political  necessity.  To  the  action  of  the 
Black  Prince  in  1366  and  1367,  not  to  that  of  Lancaster 
in  1371,  is  it  due  that  England  began  the  second  period 
of  the  Hundred  Years  War  against  a  combination  of 

At  the  root  of  the  Franco-Castilian  alliance  lay  the 
burning  question  of  naval  supremacy.  Once  only  in  the 
wars  did  a  Castilian  army  march  across  the  Pyrenees  to 
reinforce  the  French  ;  there  were  negotiations  for  such 
assistance  in  1374,  it  is  true,  but  they  came  to  nothing. 
On  the  other  hand,  never  in  the  dynastic  struggles  which 

1  Dated  Toledo,  Nov.  20,  1368,  Foed,  VI.  598,  602.     Cf.  602-3. 



convulsed  Castile  was  an  important  battle  fought  without 
the  aid  of  French  troops.  It  must  not  be  supposed  that 
the  alliance  was  a  one-sided  bargain,  or  that  Charles  V  was 
guilty  of  political  philanthropy.  He  got  as  good  as  he 
gave,  and  he  got  what  he  needed — Castilian  ships  to 
make  common  cause  against  the  enemy,  who  in  1340 
and  1350  had  defeated  France  and  Castile  in  detail. 
Since  1350,  however,  the  naval  situation  had  changed, 
for,  with  a  want  of  forethought  which  in  the  greatest 
military  power  of  the  day  is  little  short  of  extraordinary, 
England  had  neglected  her  navy  and  let  the  power  won 
at  Sluys  and  Winchelsea  slip  from  her  grasp. 

In  the  fourteenth  century  there  was,  for  England  at 
least,  no  "  Mediterranean  question,"  Only  once,  and 
then  by  accident,  did  an  English  battle  fleet  pass  through 
the  Straits  of  Gibraltar;  only  once — in  1355 — did  an 
English  army  march  to  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean. 

It  was  left  to  Genoese  and  Venetian,  Catalan  and 
Portuguese  to  dispute  among  themselves,  with  occasional 
protests  from  the  corsairs  of  the  African  coast,  for  the 
mastery  of  the  seas  in  which  Great  Britain  now  main 
tains  her  most  powerful  battle  fleet.  But  then, 
as  now,  England  had  maritime  interests  at  stake 
second  in  importance  to  those  of  no  other  European 
State.  Naval  force  exists  for  one  purpose,  and  one  pur 
pose  only — to  maintain  lines  of  communication  ;  to 
destroy  any  hostile  force  which  can  menace  them.  In 
the  period  in  question  those  lines  lay  between  Bayonne 
and  Bordeaux  and  the  home  ports  ;  along  the  Channel, 
and  between  Dover,  Sandwich  and  Yarmouth  and  the 
mouths  of  the  Scheldt  and  Rhine.  Here,  therefore,  on 
the  routes  followed  by  the  great  sea-borne  commerce,  the 
naval  battles  of  the  period  are  fought — at  Sluys  in  1340, 
off  Winchelsea  in  1350,  off  Rochelle  in  1372. 

Although  Edward  III  knew  that  commerce  furnishes 
the  sinews  of  war,  he  did  little  or  nothing  to  create  a 



royal  navy,  or  to  maintain  in  numbers  and  efficiency  the 
ships  of  the  English  mercantile  marine.  In  spite  of  pro 
tests  on  the  part  of  Parliament,  the  oppressive  system 
of  seizing  merchant  ships  for  transport  purposes  went  on 
as  before — an  abuse  which  did  as  much  as  the  depre 
dations  of  enemies  to  discourage  maritime  enterprise. 
England  had  no  naval  policy  as  such,  for  there  was  no 
fleet  capable  of  being  mobilized  without  delay  and  of 
keeping  the  sea  for  a  continuous  period. 

Faced,  therefore,  with  the  united  naval  force  of  France 
and  Castile,  England  was  found  wanting.  In  this  naval 
combination,  which  marks  the  second  period  of  the  war, 
lies  the  true  significance  of  the  alliance  of  Valois  andTras- 
tamare.  It  was  this  condition  of  affairs  which  a  dozen 
years  later  enabled  John  of  Gaunt  to  make  out  a  case 
for  the  invasion  of  Castile,  and  to  plead  with  some  show 
of  plausibility  that  he  was  doing  for  England  what 
Charles  V  had  done  for  France.  English  archers  fight 
the  battles  of  Portuguese  independence,  and  help  to  set 
up  the  House  of  Avis,  as  French  men-at-arms  had  set  up 
the  House  of  Trastamare.  Portuguese  galleys  come 
across  the  bay  to  reinforce  English  fleets.  In  the  eighties 
John  of  Gaunt  can  persuade  Parliament  that  the  answer 
to  the  coalition  of  Valois  and  Trastamare  is  the  alliance 
of  Portugal  and  Lancaster. 

But  this  is  an  anticipation.  In  1372  England  fought 
single-handed,  and  with  disastrous  results.  On  his 
return  Prince  Edward  had  surrendered  the  Principality 
of  Aquitaine  to  the  King,  and  in  June,  1372,  the  Earl  of 
Pembroke  was  sent  south  as  the  King's  Lieutenant. 

Off  La  Rochelle  Pembroke's  ships  fell  in  with  the  Cas- 
tilian  Admirals,  Boccanegra  and  Cabeza  de  Vaca,  in 
command  of  a  powerful  fleet.  A  two  days'  action, 
stubbornly  fought  against  heavy  odds,  decided  Pem 
broke's  fate.  His  ships  were  sunk  or  captured.  His 
treasure,  the  war  chest  which  was  to  pay  for  the  coming 



campaign  in  Gascony,  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy, 
and  the  Earl  himself  was  carried  away  into  captivity. 

Meanwhile  du  Guesclin,  now  Constable  of  France,  with 
energy  almost  amounting  to  genius,  was  pressing  on  with 
the  reduction  of  Aquitaine.  Town  after  town,  castle 
after  castle,  surrendered  to  the  Constable  and  his  Lieu 
tenants,  Clisson,  Kerlouet,  Mauni  and  Beaumanoir — the 
Breton  heroes  who  inspired  Cuvelier's  interminable  epic. 
Chize,  Niort,  Lusignan,  Cognac  and  Lancaster's  town 
Roche-sur-Yon  had  fallen  already.  Poitou  and  Saint- 
onge  were  as  good  as  lost.  Chauvigni,  Lussac,  Moncon- 
tour,  Sainte  Severe  fell  in  August.  Thouars,  hard  pressed 
by  the  besiegers,  had  agreed  to  surrender  if  no  help  came 
by  September  30. 

The  King  resolved  to  save  Thouars,  and  avenge 
Pembroke.  Every  ship  that  could  be  pressed  from  the 
mouth  of  the  Thames  to  Newcastle  and  to  the  ports  of 
Lancashire  was  swept  into  the  harbours  of  Portsmouth 
and  Sandwich.1  Every  tenant  in  chief  was  summoned  to 
join  the  king's  flag.  Lancaster  brought  his  whole  retinue.2 
Even  the  Prince  of  Wales  was  carried  from  his  sick  bed 
at  Berkhamstead  onboard  the  Grace  de  Dieu,  the  King's 
flagship.  On  the  last  day  of  August,  when  there  was  just 
a  month  to  save  Thouars,  the  fleet  weighed  anchor :  but 
a  month  was  not  enough.  The  Channel  in  September 
is  not  a  good  sea  for  little  vessels  dependent  solely  on  sail 

1  Orders  to  collect  ships  February  6  and  7,  1372  (Foed,  VI. 
708-9;  715-6);  hastened,  April  4  (ibid.).  The  date  fixed  for 
departure  was  originally  May  i,  but  it  was  the  end  of  August 
before  the  ships  were  ready. 

^  2  The  Duke  orders  ships  to  be  collected  Feb.  10,  1372  ;  levies  an 
aid  Feb.  7  ;  contracts  for  provisions  March  3.    Reg.  I.  f.  19-51. 

He  receives  6,000  marcs  for  the  expenses  of  the  expedition 
(Register,  Aug.  10).  The  King  orders  the  guardian  of  the  privy 
wardrobe  in  the  Tower  to  give  him  "  de  nostre  artillerie  quatre  mill 
quarelx  "  (Lettres  des  Rois,  p.  181,  No.  ci.  Dated  Westminster, 
August  26,  1372).  Cf.  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  viii.  205-7 



power,  and  before  Edward's  ships  were  out  of  sight  of 
the  Hampshire  coast  they  met  the  full  strength  of  the 
equinoctial  gales.  For  a  month  or  more  the  ships  were 
storm-tossed  on  the  Norman  and  Breton  coasts,  trying  to 
beat  up  against  contrary  winds.  They  could  never  make 
Cape  Ushant.  The  costly  expedition  proved  futile: 
Thouars  was  perforce  abandoned  to  its  fate,  and  the  fleet 
returned  to  pay  off,  nothing  done. 

At  the  close  of  1372  the  military  position  was  deplor 
able.  Before  the  end  of  the  year  Angouleme  had  fallen; 
La  Rochelle  had  received  a  French  garrison,  and  Thouars 
was  in  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  Aquitaine  was  as  good 
as  lost.  Only  in  the  North  the  English  cause  seemed  less 
desperate,  where  the  Earl  of  Salisbury  was  gallantly 
holding  out  against  the  Constable  for  Edward's  ally,  the 
Duke  of  Brittany.  In  the  spring  of  1373  Montfort  came 
to  England  in  person  to  concert  a  plan  of  action,1  It 
was  arranged  that  in  the  summer  a  strong  army  should 
be  despatched  to  invade  France  ;  the  restoration  of  the 
Earldom  of  Richmond  rewarded  Montfort's  promise  to 
lead  his  Breton  levies  in  the  English  army,  which  was 
to  be  placed  under  the  command  of  John  of  Gaunt. 

The  summer  of  1373  marks  the  zenith  of  Lancaster's 
ambition."  Of  late  years  English  arms  had  suffered 
reverse  after  reverse ;  there  had  been  no  victory  since 
Najera,  and  at  Nai'era  the  Duke,  though  acquitting 
himself  well,  had  held  a  subordinate  command.  The 
short  campaign  in  Picardy  in  1369  had  been  con 
trolled  by  him,  it  is  true,  but  the  army  only  amounted 
to  a  handful  of  men.  In  1370  and  1371  again  he  had 
fought  for  a  losing,  if  not  a  lost,  cause  with  few  men  and 
no  money. 

Now  he  found  himself  Commander-in-Chief  of  as  fine 
an  army  as  ever  left  English  shores  during  the  Hundred 

1  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  viii.  249-50 ;  266-8. 


Years  War,  with  the  sole  and  independent  command  of  the 
flower  of  English  soldiery.  What  wonder  that  the  son 
of  Edward  III  and  brother  of  the  Black  Prince  dreamt 
of  victories  and  burned  to  win  a  place  beside  his  father, 
his  brother,  and  Good  Duke  Henry  among  the  nation's 
heroes  ? 

But  this  is  not  all.  Strong  as  the  desire  for  military 
fame  was  with  the  ambitious  Duke  of  Lancaster,  there 
was  one  desire  even  stronger,  that  craving  for  Continental 
sovereignty,  which  Edward  III  had  transmitted  to  his 
son  and  encouraged  by  his  own  example. 

Fascinated  in  1367  by  the  spectacle  of  Castilian  royalty, 
though  in  ruins,  as  in  1396  Richard  II  became  fascinated 
by  the  spectacle  of  French  royalty,  Lancaster  from 
the  first  had  formed  the  resolve  of  winning  back  Pedro's 
heritage,  enforcing  the  just  claims  of  his  consort,  and 
building  up  again  the  fallen  fabric  of  the  House  of 

Thus  the  invasion  of  France  in  1373  was,  in  the  Duke's 
mind,  but  the  prelude  to  the  piece ;  the  drama  which 
was  to  begin  on  the  fields  of  Picardy  was  to  have  its 
closing  scene  upon  the  battlefields  of  Castile.1 

Because  the  event  belied  his  hopes  and  frustrated  his 
intention,  the  intention  itself  has  escaped  notice.  That 
interference  in  home  politics,  which  in  conjunction  with 
military  disaster  produced  his  extraordinary  unpopularity, 
has  usually  been  placed  half  a  dozen  years  too  soon, 
while  the  foreign  ambitions  which  give  the  keynote  to 
his  character  and  policy  have  been  placed  at  least  ten 
years  too  late.  From  the  day  when  in  the  village  near 
Bordeaux  Constance  of  Castile  united  her  fortunes  to 
his,  to  the  day  when  sixteen  years  later  his  army  of 
invasion  left  Plymouth  bound  for  Corufia,  the  single  aim 

1  The  great  invasion  was  to  have  taken  place  in  the  previous 
year,  but  was  postponed  on  account  of  the  Thouars  expedition 
Froissart,  K.  de  L.  viii.  91-3  ;  118-207. 


(From  a.  Picture  Ascribed  to  Luea  Corndli.) 


of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  was  to  win  the  throne  of 

The  first  and  most  obvious  ally  for  a  would-be  invader 
of  Castile  is  the  sovereign  who  holds  Oporto  and  Lisbon 
and  commands  access  to  the  long  and  exposed  Castilian 
frontier.  Lancaster  recognized  the  fact,  and  shaped  his 
policy  accordingly. 

So  soon  as  the  marriage  was  solemnized  the  work 
began.  From  1371  to  1386  envoys  are  passing  to  and 
fro  between  the  court  of  "  Monseigneur  d'Espaigne"  in 
England  or  Aquitaine  and  the  court  of  the  King  of 

By  1372  a  treaty  of  alliance  had  been  concluded  be 
tween  John  and  Constance,  King  and  Queen  of  Castile 
and  Leon,  on  the  one  part,  and  Fernando  and  Leonor, 
King  and  Queen  of  Portugal,  on  the  other,1  by  which 
the  allies  bound  themselves  to  attack  the  House  of 

From  the  ratification  of  that  treaty  onwards  the 
Duke  has  a  stream  of  emissaries  constantly  flowing  to 
the  Portuguese  court  bound  on  diplomatic  missions.2 

Just  before  the  unlucky  attempt  to  relieve  Thouars 
offensive  action  against  Castile  was  expressly  contem 
plated,  for  the  Duke's  indenture  of  service  mentions  a 
possible  invasion,  and  goes  so  far  as  to  fix  the  numbers 
of  his  retinue  to  meet  that  event.3  Further,  on 
the  eve  of  his  departure  for  France  in  July  the 
Duke  empowers  his  consort  to  pardon  rebels  in  his 
kingdom  of  Castile,  an  attempt  to  profit  by  the  chronic 

1  Duchy    of    Lancaster,    Ancient    Correspondence,    No.    29. 
Dated  Nov.  27,  1410  (i.e.  A.D.    1372).     Cf.  also  No.  30,  dated 
July  10,  1372,  and  Foed,  VII.  15-22  and  263, 

2  Warrant  to  his  Receiver- General  to  pay  Mons.  Lambard  de 
Weston  £20  and  to  John  Mere  10  marcs  for  their  expenses  on  their 
voyage  to  Portugal,  dated  Hertford,  Jan.  10,  1373.  Reg.  I.  f .  169  ; 
do.  to  pay  the  Dean  of  Segovia  100$.  which  he  had  given  him  for 
his  expenses,  dated  The  Savoy,  April  3, 1373.     Reg.  I.  1  177. 

3  Reg.  I.  f.  12. 



discontent  among  the  semi-independent  feudal  nobles 
and  to  detach  waver ers  from  the  usurper's  cause,  and 
on  the  same  day  he  empowers  his  Chamberlain,  Sir 
Robert  Swylyngton,  and  his  Steward,  Sir  William  Croyser, 
with  Sir  Godfrey  Foliambe,  a  trusted  retainer,  and  that 
faithful  adherent,  Juan  Guttierez,  Dean  of  Segovia  and 
afterwards  Bishop  of  Dax,  to  negotiate  as  plenipoten 
tiaries  and  make  alliances  in  Castile.1 

The  Duke's  intentions,  therefore,  are  beyond  the  range 
of  doubt.  They  comprised  far  more  than  an  invasion 
of  France.  Lancaster's  midsummer  madness — for  such 
the  sequel  proves  it — was  the  dream  of  following  up  the 
conquest  of  France  by  the  conquest  of  Castile,  of  winning 
some  great  victory  which  should  make  him  the  popular 
hero  of  the  hour,  and  then  with  the  acclamations  of  the 
nation  of  leading  his  victorious  army  from  Bordeaux 
across  the  Pyrenees,  to  cast  the  usurper  from  his  throne, 
and  to  be  proclaimed  in  the  Cortes  by  that  title  to  which 
he  clings — John,  King  of  Castile  and  Leon. 

With  such  high  stakes  it  is  not  surprising  that  the 
Duke  watched  the  game  with  feverish  interest.  Froissart 
does  not  exaggerate  when  he  says  :  "  Li  dus  de  Lancastre 
et  li  consauls  dou  roy  d'Engleterre  avoient  entendu  a 
appareillier  les  pourveances  si  grandes  et  si  belles,  que 
merveilles  seroit  a  penser." 2 

The  details  of  preparation  fill  the  Duke's  mind  ;  they 
are  arranged  months  beforehand  with  elaborate  fore 
thought.  He  is  careful  to  give  orders  that  his  archers 
shall  be  picked  men  ;  they  are  to  have  their  wages  paid 
in  advance  ;  there  is  to  be  no  pretext  for  failure  to  appear 
at  the  rendezvous  on  the  appointed  day.3 

Early  in  the  year  the  Duke  is  pledging  his  credit  with 

1  Register  I.  f.  61.     Dated  Norbourne,  July  14,  1373. 

2  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  viii.  268. 

3  Warrants  dated  Hertford,  April  17,  1373.     Reg.  I.  f,  179. 



friends  lay  and  clerical  to  raise  money  for  the  war  ; 1  in 
the  Eastern  counties,  in  the  Midlands  and  the  North, 
the  Duke's  receivers  have  urgent  orders  to  send  all  the 
money  in  their  hands  to  the  Savoy.  In  March  his 
avener  is  buying  horses ; 2  his  stewards  are  contracting 
for  supplies  and  his  commissioners  of  array  are  recruiting 
men-at-arms,  and  his  foresters  are  choosing  archers 
wherever  men  are  to  be  found  who  can  shoot  true.3 

The  first  rendezvous  was  Plymouth,  the  date  May  10.* 
The  choice  of  the  Western  port  shows  that  the 
Duke's  original  idea  was  to  land  somewhere  on  the 
Breton  or  west  Norman  coast,  effect  a  junction  with 
Montfort  and  his  men,  and  after  relieving  the  beleagured 
garrisons  of  Brest,  Becherel,  St.  Sauveur  and  Derval,  to 
advance  between  the  Loire  and  the  Seine,  perhaps  on 
Paris,  but  at  any  rate  to  deliver  an  attack  from  the 

This  plan  was  abandoned.  In  the  first  place,  England 
had  lost  command  of  the  sea ;  from  Cherbourg  to  Plyrnoxith 
and  from  Plymouth  to  Brest  the  Channel  was  swept  by 
Amaury  de  Narbonne,  Admiral  of  France,  and  his 
lieutenant,  Jean  de  Vienne.5  Then  there  was  the  usual 
delay  in  getting  the  transport  ships  together  ; 8  unhappily 
for  the  Duke  and  his  army,  it  was  near  the  end  of  July 

1  Warrant  to  the  Receiver  in  Yorkshire  to  borrow  £200  of  the 
Bishop  of  Durham  and  200  rnarcs  of  the  dowager  Lady  Neville 
until  March  next,  dated  The  Savoy,  March  23,  1373,  Reg.  Li  175. 
The  Earl  of  Arundel  lent  him  2,000  marcs,  and  he  received  from 
the  Treasury  ^3,977  5s.  6d.  and  2,000  marcs  on  account  oi  the  late 
campaign  in  Aquitaine.  (Reg.  L  f.  171  and  178). 

2  Reg.  I.  f.  176-7. 

3  Warrants  to  the  Receivers  in  Stafford,  Lincoln,  Yorkshire, 
Norfolk,  and  Suffolk,  and  to  the  Forester  of  the  Frith  of  Leicester, 
dated  Hertford,  April  19,  1373.     Reg.  I.  f.  159.     See  Note  of  the 
delivery  of  munitions  of  war  to  the  Duke,  dated  July  28,  1373- 
Lettres  des  Rois,  p.  193. 

*  Reg.  I.  f.  179. 

5  See  Jean  de  Vienne,  by  Terrier  de  Loray,  p.  61. 

6  Orders  dated  April  28,  1373.    Feed,  VII.  7-8. 



instead  of  the  beginning  of  May  before  the  freight  fleet 
was  mobilized — a  delay  which  had  the  most  disastrous 
effect  on  the  fate  of  the  expedition. 

Instead  of  Plymouth,  Dover  and  Sandwich  were 
chosen  as  the  ports  of  embarkation,1  and  the  line  of 
advance  was  changed  accordingly. 

By  the  end  of  July  everything  was  ready.  The  Duke 
had  appointed  new  constables  for  all  his  castles,  for  most 
of  his  officers  were  going  with  him  to  the  wars  ;  he  had 
prepared  Tutbury  Castle  for  his  children  and  the  "  Queen 
of  Castile" ; 2  he  had  named  his  attorneys  and  chosen  his 
executors — among  them,  be  it  noted^  William  of 
Wykeham,  Bishop  of  Winchester.3 

The  army  had  mustered — something  like  fifteen 
thousand  men,  including  6,000  archers,  all  ranks  being 
mounted.*  There  was  a  good  transport  service  and  a 
useful  body  of  sappers  and  miners.  Nothing  had  been 

With  full  powers  as  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  King's 
forces,  as  Lieutenant  in  the  realm  of  France  and  in 
Aquitaine,6  with  the  prayers  of  the  Church 6  and  the  hopes 
of  the  nation,  the  Duke  set  sail  from  Calais  at  the  end  of 
July,  bound  on  the  adventure  so  bright  in  its  inception, 
so  gloomy  in  its  sequel. 

At  Calais  Montfort's  men,  and  soldiers  of  fortune  from 
Hainault,  Brabant,  and  Germany  added  a  few  hundreds 
to  the  Duke's  forces,  and  his  popularity  across  the  Border 

1  For   the  rendezvous    at   Dover   and  Sandwich  see    orders 
dated  May  20,  1373.     Reg.  I.  1  59. 

2  Orde*r  to  prepare  Tutbury  Castle,  dated  Norbourne,   July  6, 
1373  (Reg.  I.  1  181). 

3  Appointed  May  11,  1373.     Foed,  VII.  7-8. 

4  The  numbers  given  by  Chr.  Bourb.  are  16,000, 

5  The  Duke's  Commission  is  dated  June  12,  1373.  Foed,  VII. 

6  For  "Prayers  for  King  John  in  his  Expedition  of  Arms  "see 
letters  dated  June  16,  1373.   Foed,  VII.  15. 



brought  a  contingent  of  some  three  hundred  Scottish 
lances  to  forget  the  national  quarrel  and  fight  under 
his  banner.1 

On  August  4  the  great  march  began.  With  banners 
and  pennons  flying,  to  the  blare  of  trumpets  and  the 
beating  of  drums,  the  Duke's  army  marched  out  of 
Calais  and  debouched  on  the  plains  round  Guines  and 
Ardres  in  three  divisions  or  "  battles."  With  the  first 
were  the  Marshals,  the  Earls  of  Warwick  and  Suffolk. 
The  Duke  of  Brittany  was  with  Lancaster  in  the  second  ; 
so  was  i5ir  Hugh  Calverly,  the  veteran  campaigner, 
who  now  acted  as  "  chief  of  the  staff "  to  the  Duke,  as 
Sir  John  Chandos  had  done  six  years  before.  Then 
came  the  transport  and  baggage  train.  The  Constable, 
Lord  Despencer,  brought  up  the  rear. 

Straggling  and  irregular  fighting  were  strictly  for 
bidden — a  soldierlike  precaution  which,  though  difficult 
to  enforce  in  an  army  of  the  fourteenth  century,  saved 
the  Duke  from  considerable  loss.  For  the  first  third 
of  the  march,  from  Calais  to  Troyes,  the  line  of  advance 
was  roughly  that  followed  by  Edward  III  in  the  cam 
paign  of  1360,  viz.  through  Picardy,  Artois,  Vermandois, 
Laonnois  and  Champagne.2  After  leaving  the  marches 
of  Calais  the  division  into  three  "  battles  "  was  changed 
for  a  formation  more  convenient  to  an  invading  army 
on  the  march,  viz.  that  of  two  columns.  The  western 
column,  under  the  Duke  of  Brittany,  followed  a  fairly 
straight  line  to  the  south-east.3  Lancaster,  who  led  the 

1  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  viii.  450. 

3  For  Lancaster's  March  see  Grandes  Chroniques  de  France, 
vi-  339-341  ;  Chr.  Val.  245-48  ;  Chr.  Reg.  Franc.,  346-7 ;  I  store 
et  Chroniques  de  Flandres,  ii.  136-9;  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  viii. 
280-296;  xvii.  542-5;  Luce  viii.  (i)  Ixxxiii.-ciii. ;  and  Chroni- 
con  Briocense,  quoted  by  Morice,  Histoire  de  Bretagne  (Preuves  i. 
pp.  47-8). 

3  The  itinerary  given  by  the  Grandes  Chroniques  de  France  (vi. 
339),  is  evidently  that  of  the  western  column: — Calais,  La 



eastern  column,  advanced  in  a  direction  forming  a  very 
irregular  parallel  to  Montfort's  line,  keeping  his  men 
as  long  as  possible  in  the  fertile  river  basins,  the  valleys 
of  the  Authie,  the  Somme  and  the  Oise.  The  two 
columns  converged  near  Vailly-sur-Aisne,  but  Lancaster's 
right  wing  and  Montfort's  left  wing  were  never  far  out 
of  touch  with  each  other.  The  area  enclosed  between 
the  two  lines  represents  roughly  the  sphere  of  devastation. 

The  western  column  marched  past  Licques,  Th6rouanne, 
Hesdin,  crossed  the  Authie  at  Doullens,  which  beat  off 
an  attack,  and  the  Somme  at  Corbie.  Meanwhile, 
Lancaster  at  a  leisurely  pace  had  marched  past  Ardres, 
St.  Omer  and  Aire,  ravaged  the  lands  of  the  Count  of 
St.  Pol,  and  after  calling  a  halt  for  a  couple  of  days  near 
Arras,  where  he  stayed  in  the  Abbey  of  Mont-St.-Eloi, 
had  turned  due  south,  getting  into  close  touch  with 
his  ally  at  Bray-sur-Somme. 

It  was  here  that  the  greatest  havoc  was  wrought. 
Santerre,  Noyon,  all  that  "  fair  and  rich  land  of  Ver- 
mandois,"  as  Froissart  calls  it,  were  swept  by  the  in 
vading  army.  Roye,  Essigni,  Vendeuil  and  Remigny 
were  burnt  to  the  ground.  So  thorough  was  the  work 
of  destruction  that  long  after  the  invasion  was  over  the 
French  King's  exchequer  had  to  abandon  all  hope  of  a 
revenue  from  these  towns,  and  the  Receiver  of  Noyon 
was  ordered  to  remit  their  taxes.1 

From  the  ruins  of  Roye  Montfort  wrote  a  defiance  to 
his  French  suzerain  ;  there  could  be  no  longer  any  doubt 
as  to  the  side  which  the  Duke  of  Brittany  chose. 
Throughout  Noyon,  Soissons  and  Champagne  there  was 
a  reign  of  terror.  It  was  now  the  time  of  harvest  and 

Marche,  Hesdin,  Doullens,  Beauquesne,  Corbie,  Roye,  Vailly-sur- 
Aisne,  Oulchie;  then  of  the  two  columns  combined.  Gye',  Marcin- 
gny-les-Nonnains,  etc.  Cf.  Chronicon  Briocense. 

1  Mandements  de  Charles  Vt  dated  Paris,  Jan.  4,  1374. 
(No.  1091.) 

1 06 

Lan casterb  mafch  on  H&rFieur ,(lZ69) thus  " 

The  March  on  LimQgo$j(J370) 

Lancaster's   march  fivm  Calais  to  Bordeaux,(i37a)  n  . 

Burgundy's  pursuit 

English    Miles  Scale   I:  4,000,000  Kilometres 

o      20     *o     so     so     too 

0     2O   4O    00    BO  IOO 


vintage,  but  the  year's  labour  and  hopes  went  for  nothing. 
To  add  to  the  misery  of  the  crowds  herded  from  all 
the  countiy  side  into  the  strong  places  (the  weak  had 
been  abandoned),  they  could  maik  the  progress  of  the 
work  of  devastation  by  the  flame  and  smoke  of  their 
burning  faims  and  houses 

Fiom  Ncslc-notre-Danic  to  Rheims  and  from  Rheirns 
to  Chalons  and  from  Chalons  to  Tioyes  sentinels  watched 
night  and  day  from  the  walls  of  the  defensible  posi 
tions  for  the  signs  of  the  English  ad\ance 

On  August  20  the  Duke's  aimy  was  signalled  at 
Bray  and  Cappy  ,  in  hot  hasle  the  Captain  of  Nesle  sent 
a  courier  to  the  Go\crnor  and  Eche\ms  of  Rheims 
Rheims  passed  on  the  woid  to  Troyes  Just  as  the 
Governor  was  sealing  his  letter  the  news  came  in  of  the 
occupation  of  Roye,  while  from  the  east  Chalons  on 
August  25  reported  another  body  of  the  invadcis  across 
the  Oise  then  camping  between  Pont  TEveque  and 
Vailly l 

Fiom  Calais  to  Vailly  the  Duke  had  only  met  with 
one  sign  of  activity  on  the  part  of  the  enemy  The 
captain  of  Ribemont  had  led  a  sortie  and  by  a 
successful  ambush  cut  up  the  retinue  of  Sir  Hugh 
Calverly,  to  whom,  however,  no  blame  attached,  for  he 
was  with  the  Duke  and  the  main  body  of  the  army  at 
the  time 

But  the  French  had  not  been  idle.  Charles  V  had  a 
policy,  thoughtfully  conceived  and  persistently  enforced. 
It  was  not  heioic,but  events  proved  its  wisdom,  The 
"  attorney"  was  "pleading  Ins  cause,"  and  he  pleaded 
long  enough  to  weary  the  English  general  Charles 
chose  persistent  inaction  ;  he  had  made  up  his  mind  to 
bow  before  the  storm,  until  it  should  have  spent  its  fuiy 

1  The  letters  are  printed  in  M  Arboisdc  Jubamville's  Voyage 
Pattographique  dans  le  d&pavtement  de  I'Aube,  pp  148-1 50  (Troyes, 



and  worn  itself  out.  "  Laissez-les-aller  " — Froissart  is 
speaking  for  the  King's  Council — "  Par  fumiferes  ne 
peuvent-ils  vemr  a  votre  heritage ;  il  leur  ennuira, 
et  iront  tous  a  neant.  Quoi  que  un  orage  et  une  tern- 
pete  se  appert  a  la  fois  en  un  pays,  si  se  depart  depuis  et 
degate  de  soi-meme,  amsi  adviendra-t-il  de  ces  gens 

At  all  costs  the  hazard  of  battle  was  to  be  avoided 
To  hang  upon  the  rear  and  flank  of  the  invading  army, 
to  cut  off  straggleis  and  foraging  parties,  and  in  some 
measuie  to  "contain"  the  movements  of  the  enemy 
was  all  that  Charles  was  prepared  to  attempt 

This  policy  did  not  pass  without  comment  There 
were  hot-headed  cutics  who  construed  inaction  as 
cowardice,  and  forgetting  Poictiers,  longed  for  the  days 
of  "  Jean  le  Bon  "  To  those  without  the  King's  fore 
sight,  to  all  who  had  failed  to  learn  the  lessons  of  the  war, 
Charles  was  the  dastard  son  of  a  brave  if  unfortunate 
father,  But  at  least  the  Council  was  unanimous  Thanks 
to  the  Black  Prince  and  English  archery,  the  belief  of 
the  invaders  m  their  own  invincibility  was  a  creed  un 
questioned  by  the  invaded  Not  a  voice  was  given  for 
accepting  Lancaster's  challenge  of  battle. 

To  carry  out  the  King's  policy,  Philip  Duke  of  Bur 
gundy  had  been  sent  to  Amiens  as  soon  as  the  rumour  of 
the  coming  invasion  reached  France  He  was  supported 
by  Jean  de  Vienna,  a  brave  and  dashing  captain  both 
ashore  and  afloat,  whose  merit  was  soon  to  be  lewarded 
by  the  office  of  Admiral  of  France. 

Philip  the  Bold,  in  spite  of  his  name,  was  statesman 
first  and  soldier  second  Perhaps,  like  Lancaster,  he 
lacked  the  real  essence  of  statesmanship.  The  Duke 
was  playing  his  own  game.  His  predecessor  in 
1360  had  bribed  Edward  III  not  to  ravage  Burgundy, 
and  had  left  the  Regent  and  the  rest  of  France  to 
their  fate.  With  equal  preoccupation  for  the  safety 



of  his  own  lands  the  Duke  showed  now  plainly 
enough  his  anxiety  to  get  to  the  south.  He  left  Amiens 
on  August  17  ;  the  English  did  not  reach  Bray  till  the 
20th  When  the  Duke  of  Brittany  was  burning  Roye, 
Burgundy  had  reached  Soissons  It  is  true  that  he  cut 
up  an  English  outpost  at  Oulchy-le-Chateau,  but  that  was 
by  the  way.  The  Duke  could  not  rest  until,  throwing 
himself  into  Troyes  a  few  days  ahead  of  the  enemy,  he 
was  within  easy  distance  of  his  own  dominions  * 

Thus  the  Duke,  who  for  the  time  represented  the  defen 
sive  force  of  France,  had  marched  m  line  roughly  parallel 
to  but  shorter  and  more  direct  than  that  followed  by 
Lancaster,  m  advance  of  the  invaders,  and  only  three 
times  commg  into  contact  with  them — at  Ribemont  and 
Oulchy,  mere  matters  of  outposts,  and  at  Plancy,  where 
theie  was  a  trifling  encounter  at  the  Barnfres 

Meanwhile,  the  Court  of  Avignon,  always  anxious 
for  the  peace  of  Christendom,  doubly  so  when  the  French 
King  was  m  difficulties,  had  been  roused  to  one  more 
effort  to  stop  hostilities.3 

Two  Cardinals,  the  Archbishop  of  Ravenna,  and  the 
Bishop  of  Carpentras  with  this  object  m  view  had 
been  sent  from  Avignon  to  Pans,  where  their  efforts 
were  welcomed,  if  they  had  not  been  invited.  The  peace 
makers  followed  Burgundy  to  Troyes,  charged  with  the 
duty  of  mediation,  and  parleying  began  so  soon  as  Lan 
caster  came  within  sight  of  Troyes.  But  there  was  no  real 
basis  for  negotiations.  The  Duke  listened  but  paid 
no  attention,  and  the  cardinals  returned  with  their 
Lancaster  now  stood  at  the  parting  of  the  ways : 

1  From  this  point  onwards  see  Chr on  Bowb.  50-51,  which  says 
the  English  lost  120  killed,  180  captured,  in  the  fight  round 
suburbs  of  Troyes, 

2  Papal  Letters,  IV.  125, 



the  advance  from  Calais  to  Troyes  had  produced  no 
engagements  and  no  military  result  He  could  go  back, 
which  would  be  inglorious,  or  he  could  go  on,  which 
would  be  useless.  So  much  was  clear,  for  the  tactics 
of  the  enemy  had  paralyzed  the  English  attack  But  the 
general  failed  utterly  to  realize  the  altered  conditions 
under  which  he  had  now  to  conduct  the  campaign. 

He  had  avoided  one  possible  but  disastrous  mistake — 
to  fritter  his  strength  away  on  isolated  bieges  His 
fault  was  of  omission,  not  of  commission  The  Duke, 
remembering  Rheims,  refused  sieges.  The  French,  re 
membering  Poictiers,  refused  battle.  John  of  Gaunt,  a 
respectable  tactician,  as  he  had  shown  at  Najera,  was  as 
incompetent  a  strategist  as  his  fathei ,  and  had  learned 
little  from  the  generalship  of  the  Black  Prince 

Only  accident  and  circumstances  for  which  he  was 
not  responsible  saved  King  Edward's  campaign  in  1360 
from  ending  m  disaster  Then  the  captivity  of  King 
John  and  the  exhaustion  of  France  forced  the  hands 
of  the  Regent,  and  Br£tigm  saved  the  credit  of  the 
English  King  Now  fortune,  which  had  smiled  on  the 
father,  frowned  on  the  son  A  repetition  of  the  treaty 
of  Brdtigni  with  its  wildly  favourable  terms  was  impos 
sible  in  1373  The  Duke  could  not  have  peace  with 
honour.  He  chose  honour  with  disaster,  and  went 

If  he  was  not  prepared  to  besiege  Troyes  (and  sieges 
were  difficult  and  rarely  successful),  he  might  have 
threatened  Pans  and  tried  to  compel  Charles  V,  that 
carpet  knight,  to  don  his  armour  for  once  and  do  battle 
for  his  throne  The  Black  Prince  would  have  manoeuvred 
until  he  had  the  advantage  of  the  enemy  Then  he  would 
have  attacked  and  driven  the  charge  home,  There 
was  something  to  be  said  for  going  back  ,  there  was  still 
more  to  be  said  for  forcing  the  enemy's  hand  and  compel 
ling  him  to  fight  For  the  course  which  the  Duke  chose, 



there  wab  little  or  nothing  to  be  said  It  meant  the  ruin 
of  the  army 

So  the  advance  continued,  but  under  very  different 
conditions.  About  six  hundred  horse  had  followed 
the  Duke  as  far  as  the  line  of  the  Seme,  Now  An]ou 
Chsson  and  the  famous  Constable  of  Fiance,  recalled 
fiom  the  siege  of  the  Breton  towns  (so  much  the 
Duke's  invasion  had  done)  to  reinforce  Burgundy, 
with  their  combined  forces,  were  free  to  hairy  the 
Duke's  flanks  and  reaiguaid  and  to  cut  up  stragglers 
and  foraging  parties  1 

It  was  the  time  of  vintage  and  hai  vest  when  the  English 
had  advanced  through  Picaidy,  Artois,  Vermandois 
Laonnois  and  Champagne ,  when  they  left  Troyes, 
September  was  nearly  over  ,  the  land  of  corn  and  wine 
was  behind  them  ,  m  front  of  them  lay  two-thirds  of  the 
jouiney  ,  the  barren  mountains  of  Auvergne,  the  Loire, 
Authie,  Dordogne,  Lot,  and  Garonne,  all  swollen  by 
the  rainfall  of  an  unusually  wet  season. 

Leaving  Troyes  behind  him,  Lancaster  marched  up  the 
valley  of  the  Seme  as  far  as  Gye,  where  he  crossed,  while 
Brittany  with  a  detached  force  crossed  the  river  just 
below  Troyes  itself  and  marched  on  Sens  only  to  fall 
into  a  cleverly  laid  ambush  of  Chsson  and  to  suffer  ac 
cordingly  2  The  first  week  of  October  found  the  two 
columns  combined  again,  and  preparing  to  waste  the 
entourage  of  Avallon, 

On  October  i  the  Bailiff  of  Auxerre,  writing  to  the 
Duchess  of  Burgundy,  reported  that  the  invaders  had 
just  occupied  Pothifcres,  Pontaubert  and  le  Vault  de 
Lugny,  and  were  destroying  everything  that  they  could 
find  3  There  was  little  enough  left  for  them,  for  the  same 

1  Froisaart,  K  de  L  vni  307-21 ,  xvn  546-50 

2  Chr  Bourb  ,  p  54       Et  fut  la  plus  grosse  destrousse  que  les 
Anglois  eussenl  en  cellui  voyage 

3  See  M  E   Petit  Avallon  et  l'Avallonnaist  vol  n  p  246  (Aux- 



district  had  been  ravaged  only  the  year  before  by  Breton 
free  companies,  and  the  Burgundians  had  learnt  the 
lesson,  Moie  fortunate,  too,  than  the  men  of  Vermandois 
and  the  northern  provinces,  they  had  been  given  time 
to  get  their  harvest  in,  and  the  corn,  with  every  sort  of 
movable  property — "  jusqu'aux  fers  des  moulms  "— 
which  could  tempt  destruction  or  plunder,  had  been 
carried  off  and  stored  in  strong  places. 

After  leaving  Avallon  the  real  nature  of  the  great 
march  appeared  in  its  true  Lght :  that  of  a  disastrous 
military  promenade.  The  fighting,  such  as  it  was,  was 
over,  The  captain  of  Mangny-le-CMtel,  it  is  true, 
plucked  up  courage  to  lead  a  sortie,  but  failed  to  do  much 
damage 1  True  to  the  King's  policy,  the  "  containing 
force  "  kept  in  touch  with  every  movement  of  the  invaders 
but  steadily  refused  to  come  to  cloee  quarters.  Leaving 
Troyes  on  September  26,  the  Duke  of  Burgundy  had 
marched  through  Joigny,  Auxerre,  Varzy,  Premery  and 
Decize  in  a  line  parallel  to  Lancaster's  route  From 
Decize  Burgundy  made  a  spurt,  and  getting  ahead  of  the 
English,  crossed  the  Loire  at  Roanne,  a  point  a  good 
deal  south  of  the  crossing  place  chosen  by  Lancaster, 
with  the  idea  of  heading  off  the  English  army  to  the 
west  But  Lancaster,  instead  of  striking  westwards  from 
Marcigny-les-Nonnains,  as  might  have  been  expected, 
turned  sharp  to  the  south,  and  m  spite  of  the  time  of  the 
year  (it  was  the  beginning  of  November)  faced  the  fearful 
prospect  of  leading  an  army  to  Bordeaux  through 
Auvergne  in  the  winter 

At  Clermont  Philip  the  Bold  gave  up  the  pursuit. 
His  lands  had  no  more  to  fear  from  the  invasion,  and 

erre  1867),  quoting  Comptes  de  I'Auxois,  andM  A  ChSrest Etude 
Histonque  sw  Vteelay,  vol  11  p  245-6  (Auxerre  1863),  quoting 
Archives  de  la  Cdte-d'or 

1  Boutiot   fastowe   de   Troyes  u    234-5,  quoting  Arch    Dep 
de  St.  Pievve 



knowing  that  the  enemy  were  doomed,  he  was  content 
to  leave  them  to  their  fate  Cold  and  privation  would 
henceforth  deal  with  the  invaders. 

The  miseries  of  this  last  stage  of  the  march  can  well 
be  imagined,  It  is  no  longer  possible  to  trace  Lancaster's 
movements  by  the  records  of  the  villages  which  he 
burnt,  the  despairing  petitions  of  ruined  communes  praying 
for  lemission  of  taxes.  In  that  rugged  volcanic  region 
of  the  Puy  de  Dome,  the  barren  hills  and  scarcely  less 
barren  plateaux  of  lower  Auvergne,  there  was  little 
damage  to  be  done  But  the  hardships  of  the  march 
were  intensified  tenfold  The  crossing  of  the  Loire 
and  Allier  had  accounted  for  the  baggage  tram  and 
transport ;  now  the  horses  began  to  get  knocked  up, 
and  many  of  all  ranks,  high  and  low,  had  to  march  on 
foot,  while  provisions  became  daily  more  hard  to  find 

Just  at  the  time  when  at  Westminster  Sir  John  Knyvett, 
the  Chancellor,  was  assuring  Parliament  that  Lancaster's 
forces  had  "  stayed  the  malice  of  the  King's  adversa 
ries  and  by  their  good  and  noble  governance  and  deeds  of 
arms  had  wrought  great  damage  and  destruction  to  the 
enemy  in  France,"1  hunger  and  cold  were  thinning  the 
ranks  of  the  army ,  horse  and  man  were  dropping  out 
to  perish  of  cold,  disease,  and  starvation  in  the  defiles 
and  passes  of  Auvergne. 

With  stubborn  endurance  and  indomitable  courage, 
which  even  their  enemies  extolled,  the  army,  or  what  was 
left  of  it,  struggled  on,  By  December  14  Mur-de-Barrez 
and  Montsalvy  were  reached , 2  a  few  days  later 

1  "  Et  ore  tard'  Tan  passe  manda  celes  parties  son  filz  le  Roi 
de  Castil  et  de  Leon  at  due  de  Lancastre,  ov©  plusours  grantz  et 
autres  en  sa  campagnie  a  grant  nombre  a  aresteer  la  malice  de 
ses  dits  adversoirs     queux  parmi  lour  bon  et  noble  governement 
et  fait  d'armes  ont  fait  grantz  damages  et  destruction  as  enemys 
par  dela  Rot  Parl  li  3i6a 

2  See  Le  Rouergue  sous  les  Anglais,  p  271  (L'AbbS  Rouquette 
Millau,  1887) 


and  Lancaster  was  at  Tulle  and  Brive-la-Gaillarde 
and  on  friendly  soil,  for  Bnve  had  not  lost  the  old  Gascon 
sentiment,  and  its  inhabitants  were  "  traitors  to  the 
King  of  France."  Here,  if  the  Bourbon  Chronicle  can 
be  trusted,  Lancaster  called  a  muster  of  his  forces.  Of 
the  15,000  men  who  had  marched  out  of  Calais  with  such 
high  hopes,  only  8,000  were  left,  and  of  these  only  half 
were  still  mounted 

The  rest  had  perished,  few  by  the  hand  of  the  enemy, 
almost  all  of  the  hardships  suffered  in  that  last  fearful 
stage  of  the  journey,  from  Clermont  to  Mur-de-Barrez 
It  was  a  pitiable  condition  to  which  one  of  the  best- 
equipped  of  English  armies  had  been  reduced.  "  II 
y  avoit  plus  de  trois  cens  chevaliers  a  pi£,  qui  avoient 
laissi£es  leur  armeures,  les  uns  ]et£es  en  nvi£re,  les  autres 
les  avoient  despecie£s  pour  ce  que  ils  ne  les  povoient 
porter,  et  afin  que  les  Francois  ne  s'en  peussent  aid6er." * 

As  though  to  mock  the  intentions  of  the  invaders,  a 
few  insignificant  successes  were  now  achieved  Martel, 
Belloc  and  Demanac  reverted  to  the  English  cause, 
the  first  result  of  the  invasion  since  at  the  outset  it  had 
indirectly  relieved  the  Breton  towns  besieged  by  Clisson 
and  du  Guesclin  Even  this  success,  trivial  as  it  was, 
was  only  momentary,  for  within  a  few  months  all  Li 
mousin  and  Rouergue  were  lost  for  good, 

From  Bnve  Lancaster  advanced  to  Sarlat,  crossed  the 
Vez£re,  occupied  Limeuil 2  by  agreement ,  and  captured 
Lalmde  by  force,  and  thence  marched  through  his  own 
town  of  Bergerac  to  Bordeaux  3 

1  Grandes  Chromques  de  France,  vi  339 

2  The  Pope's   brother  Nicholas  de   Beaufort   was   Lord    of 
Limeuil     See  Papal  Letters,  iv  128 

3  For  the  last  stage  of  the  march  see  Chromcon  Bnocense  and 
Le  L^bvre  du  ban  Jehan  Due  de  Byetaigne  (with  Cuveher)  11  489 
I  have  assumed  that  for  the  last  stage  of  the  march  Lancaster's 
itinerary  was  the  same  as  that  of  Brittany     Accprding  to  Guil- 
laume  de  St  AndrS  (loc  cit  )the  two  leaders  quarrelled  about  the 



"  Ensi  fu  traitt£  ceste  grant  chevaucie  a  chief." 

To  contemporary  judgment  the  great  march  of  '73 
was  the  most  pretentious  effort  of  the  war.  "  II  avoit 
fait,"  says  the  Chronicler  of  the  Valois  Ktngs  of  Lancaster, 
"la  greignour  reze  et  le  greignour  hostoiement  qui  fust 
fait  en  France  puis  le  commencement  des  guerres  dessus 
dictes."  The  author  of  the  Grandes  Chroniques  de  France 
agrees;  "  Et  ]a  soit  que  la  dite  chevauche6  leur  feust 
moult  honorable,  elle  leur  fut  moult  domageuse." 

There  was  something  in  the  feat  which  struck  the 
imagination,  especially  of  the  French— something  which 
appealed  to  the  love  ot  daring  and  adventure  which  marks 
the  age. 

From  Calais  to  Bordeaux  through  the  heart  of  France 
the  Duke  had  led  his  army,  wasting  cornland  and  vine 
yard,  burning  and  putting  to  ransom  chateau,  manor  and 
village.  For  five  months  he  had  offered  the  enemy 
whose  lands  he  insulted  constant  challenge  of  battle, 
and  that  challenge  had  been  constantly  reiused.  From 
start  to  finish  no  opposition  worth  the  name  had  been 
offered,  no  army  had  dared  to  meet  him  in  the  field 

This  seeming  triumph  obscured,  in  the  minds  of  the 
invaded,  at  any  rate,  if  not  also  of  the  invaders,  the 
utter  futility  of  the  whole  proceeding.  No  military  result 
had  been  achieved  An  incalculable  amount  of  misery,  it 
is  true,  had  been  inflicted  on  the  French  peasantry,  but 
Edward  III  had  been  brought  no  nearer  to  the  throne 
of  the  Valois  by  his  son's  efforts  And  this  campaign 
without  battles,  upon  which  so  much  had  been  built, 
this  great  military  promenade,  so  far  from  achieving 
any  positive  result,  m  truth  amounted  to  a  disaster  to 
English  arms  The  Duke's  point-to-point  race  across 
France  had  cost  an  English  army. 

payment  of  their  troops  (more  probably  about  Brittany's 
pretensions  m  Limousin),  but  this  seems  to  have  been  exag 
gerated  See  Delpit  Collection^  cclvn 


How  severe  the  hardships  of  the  campaign  had  been 
may  be  judged  from  the  result. 

On  reaching  Bordeaux  the  men  began  to  desert  in 
scores  ;  the  King  was  compelled  to  issue  a  writ  to  the 
Mayor  and  Sheriffs  of  London  ordering  the  arrest  of 
all  who  returned  without  the  Duke's  licence  * 

With  what  remained  of  his  army  Lancaster,  after 
spending  Christmas  at  Bordeaux,  prepared  to  take  the 
field  again  in  the  spring  against  the  Duke  of  Anjou,  who 
had  been  sent  to  the  south  in  command  of  a  considerable 
force  In  spite  of  his  losses,  Lancaster  managed  to 
secure  a  few  gains  in  the  debatable  land  of  the  Gascon 
frontier.  Though  without  any  permanent  influence  on 
the  fate  of  English  Aquitame,  they  were  considerable 
enough  to  alarm  Anjou,  who  entered  into  communication 
with  his  ally  south  of  the  Pyrenees  Don  Enrique  had 
promised  to  lead  30,000  men  to  his  assistance,  and  a  day 
had  been  fixed  for  a  pitched  battle  near  Moissac  m  the 
spring,  when  further  hostilities  were  postponed  by  a 
truce,  Once  more  the  Pope  had  attempted  the  thankless 
task  of  peace-making a  Threats  of  excommunication, 
coupled  with  the  fact  that  plague  and  famine3  were 
ravaging  the  south  of  France  and  that  both  sides  were 
weary  of  the  struggle,  produced  the  desired  result 

At  Pfrigord  the  French  and  English  generals  patched 

1  Dated  Jan    8,  1374.    After  Lancaster  reached  the  Duchy 
"  Nous  est  dit  que  pour  tant  ascuns  de  gentz  du  dit  hoste  se  sont 
tretz  et  pensent  de  soi  trer  deins  brief t  d'llloeques  en  tapizon  et 
autrement  de  nostre  dit  fitz,  sannz  son  congie,  en  nostre  roialme 
d'Angleterre,  en  deshonour  et  contempt  de  nous  et  de  rnesme 
nostre  fitz  et  arnenssement  qe  Dieu  defende  de  notre  dite  guere, 
au  damage   de  nostre  roialme  avant  dit  (Delpit  Collection,  ccl 
P  190) 

2  Mandate  to  the  Patriarch  of  Jerusalem  and  the  Archbishop  of 
Bordeaux,  dated  Avignon,  March  6,  1374     Papal  Letters,  iv  108 
and  135 

3  I/an  MCCCLXXIIII  fo  grant  carestra  de  blat  en  Guasquonha 
que  bale  lo  bochet  deu  fromen  x  (Petite  Chronique  de  Guvenne 
§65)  ' 



up  a  truce,  and  Lancaster  prepared  to  abandon  the  com 
mand  of  Aquitame  to  Sir  Thomas  Felton  1 

The  invasion  of  France  had  failed;  the  invasion  of 
Castile  was  out  of  the  question.  England  was  disap 
pointed  ;  the  Duke's  hopes  were  dashed  to  the  ground. 

Crippled  in  resources  (for  he  had  to  borrow  heavily 
before  leaving  Aquitame),2  and  with  the  disappointment 
of  the  great  failure,  Lancaster  returned  to  England  in 
April,  I374,3 

According  to  Christine  de  Pisan,  who,  however,  had 
no  love  for  the  Duke,  and  may  be  romancing,  the  King 
openly  reprimanded  him  for  his  mismanagement  of  the 
campaign.*  At  any  rate,  for  nearly  a  year  he  took  no 
part  in  affairs.  There  was  no  Parliament  between  Novem 
ber,  1373,  and  April,  1376,  and  the  half-hearted  attempt 
to  continue  the  war  in  Brittany  was  entrusted  to  others. 

The  Duke's  ten  months'  retirement  from  public  affairs , 
which  he  spent  chiefly  at  Hertford  and  in  his  northern 
estates,5  gave  him  leisure  to  think  about  the  political 
situation  and  his  own  position.  What  his  thoughts  were 
may  be  judged  from  the  result,  for  when  he  emerged  from 

1  Lancaster  agrees  to  pay  John  Cresswell  and  Geoffrey  St. 
Qumtm  6,000  florins  for  keeping  the  Castle  of  Lusignan  (indenture 
dated  Bordeaux,  April  4, 1374),  Delpit  Collection,  p  191,  No  coin 
Calendars  of  the  Exchequer ,  i  243 

2  Lancaster  had  borrowed  500  francs  (gold)  from  the  Chapter 
of   St  Andrew   at  Bordeaux  (Warrant   for  repayment  dated 
The  Savoy,  June  13,  1374,  Delpit  Collection,  p   192,  No   cliv), 
£20  from  Nicholas  Duchayn,  Aquitame  King  at  Arms  (Warrant 
dated  Jan  17, 1 375,  ibid   No  cclviii ) ,  200  marcs  from  Benet  Bod- 
sawe  (ibid  cclni    Warrant  dated  June  n,  1374),  eto 

3  Warrant  dated  June  n,  1374,  to  pay  JohnSnelle,  Master  of 
the  Grace  de  Dieu,  ^140  for  freight  on  account  (Delpit  Collection, 
p   192,  No  ccliu ),  also  £180  to  Marcellmi  Albertson  for  freight 
from  Bordeaux  to  Dartmouth     Reg  I  f.  205 

4  "  Si  fu  moult  blasme"  de  son  pere  et  a  petite  feste  receu  pour 
ce  quo  si  mal  ot  exploictie  "  Christine  de  Pisan  quoted  by  Kervyn 
de  Lettenhove     Froissart  vin  460  (note), 

6  Register  passim. 



retirement  to  exchange  the  role  of  Commander-m-Chief  for 
that  of  Ambassador,  he  appeared  as  the  exponent  of  a  new 

The  conclusion  had  forced  itself  upon  him  that  the 
struggle  with  France  was  hopeless.  His  readiness  to 
abandon  the  first  dynastic  stiuggle  is  the  measure  of  his 
determination  to  continue  the  second  The  dream  of 
winning  the  crown  of  Castile  has  not  left  him  He  has 
not  yet  learnt  its  unreality. 

As  the  forces  of  England  cannot  be  divided,  the 
enemies  must  be  divided,  or  if  this  is  not  possible,  one 
must  be  neutralised  "  Qm  trop  embrasse  mal  etreint " 
Hostilities  with  France  must  cease.  That  is  the  key 
note  to  the  Duke's  foreign  policy  for  the  next  dozen 

The  financial  exhaustion  of  England  gave  him  his 
chance  In  spite  of  repeated  rebuffs,  the  Papacy  had 
never  ceased  trying  to  bring  about  peace ,  in  the  spring 
of  1375  England  listened  to  the  proposals,  and  a  meeting 
between  envoys  from  both  countries  was  arranged  to 
take  place  on  neutral  ground. 

The  Dukes  of  Anjou  and  Bern  represented  France  ,* 
Lancaster  met  them  at  Bruges  as  the  King's  Lieutenant 

1  The  Duke's  first  absence  was  from  about  March  10  to 
July  10,  1375  His  powers  are  dated  February  20  and  21, 
and  June  8,  andletters  of  attorney  March  i,  1375  Foed,  VII  58- 
60,  61,  66-7 

His  second  absence  was  from  the  end  of  October>  1375,  to  the 
end  of  March,  1376  His  powers  are  dated  September  20  and  23, 
and  Oct  10,  1375  The  commission  of  the  Dukes  of  Anjou  and 
Brittany  is  dated  Feb  1 8, 1376 

The  first  Truce  concluded  at  Bruges  June  27, 1375,  lasted  until 
June  31, 1376,  Foed,  VII  68-9, 80, 82-3  ,  the  second  concluded  on 
March  12,  also  at  Bruges,  prolonged  the  first  until  April  i ,  1 377, 

King  Edward  confirmed  the?  first  Truce  Aug  24,  1375  ,  the 
second,  April  i,  1376  Foed,  VII  88-91,  99,  100-102,  Record 
Report,  xlv  App  (Diplomatic  Documents),  x  279 

Froissart,  K  de  L  vm  327,  338-9,  343,  349~$i»  335  ,  xvl1 



Insuperable  difficulties  lay  in  the  way  of  a  definite 
peace.  The  Duke  stood  on  his  royal  dignity  as  King  of 
Castile.  Don  Enrique  was  the  ally  of  Charles  V,  and 
Charles'  representatives  refused  of  course  to  acknowledge 
the  Duke's  pretensions,  and  in  the  official  documents 
that  passed,  denied  him  his  royal  title.  Again,  the  Duke 
of  Brittany  was  in  arms  against  his  suzerain  and  in  open 
alliance  with  England.  As  yet  there  was  no  solution 
possible  to  the  difficulties  created  by  the  position  of 
Castile  and  Brittany  But  there  was  no  real  hindrance 
to  a  truce  England  was  anxious  for  it,  while  France 
acted  on  the  principle  "  reculer  pour  mieux  sauter  D> 

After  three  months'  parleying,  the  envoys  concluded 
a  truce  at  Bruges  on  June  27,  1375,  to  last  for  a  year 

In  July  Lancaster  returned  to  procure  the  ratification 
of  his  terms  ;  in  November  he  was  back  again  at  Bruges, 
working  hard  by  personal  efforts  to  bring  about  a  better 

The  routine  of  diplomatic  negotiations  was  relieved  by 
feasts  and  banquets,  which  gave  to  Louis,  Duke  of 
Anjou,  the  opportunity  for  the  lavish  display  in  which 
he  delighted,  and  which  provoke  the  horror  of  the  French 
chroniclers,  who  complain  that  there  is  little  to  choose 
between  peace  and  war,  the  money  saved  in  soldiers' 
wages  being  poured  out  by  the  wanton  extravagance  ol 
the  King's  envoys.1 

On  this  occasion  the  Duchess  of  Lancaster  accom 
panied  her  husband,  and  it  was  at  Ghent,  his  own  birth 
place,  that  the  Duke's  son  John,  also  called  "  John  ot 

1  Chron.  Reg  Franc  ,  361  The  English  chronicles  echo  the 
complaints,  Lancaster  stayed  at  Bruges  "  in  gravibus  expensis 
regm  "  Nullas  gratias  reportavit  Cont'  Eulog  336 

The  Duke  received  500  marks  for  his  expenses  on  the1  first 
mission  Receipt  dated  Bruges,  June  28,  1375  (Reg  I  f  36) 

Cf  Warrant  to  the  Clerk  of  his  Great  Wardrobe  to  send  him  at 
once  by  a  safe  messenger  his  collar  and  circle  of  gold  and  £100  in 
gold,  Dated  Oct.  22,  1375  (ibid  ) 



Gaunt,"  was  born,  on  the  return  of  the  Duchess  from  a 
pilgrimage  to  Saint  Adiien  de  Grammont.1 

On  March  12  the  truce  was  prolonged  until  April  i, 
1377,  and  the  Duke  returned  to  England  after  nearly  six 
months'  absence. 

Keivyn  de  Lettenhove     Froissart,  vm  466-7  (note). 

1 2O 

Chapter  VI 


THE  Duke  of  Lancaster  was  never  peculiarly  sensitive 
to  public  opinion.  Secure  in  the  consciousness  of 
his  own  power,  he  was  usually  contemptuously  indifferent 
to  the  feelings  with  which  the  people  regarded  him, 
neither  courting  their  favour  nor  fearing  their  hostility 
Yet,  as  he  rode  from  Windsor  after  the  feast  of  the  Garter 
on  St.  George's  Day,  to  Westminster,  where  Parliament 
was  to  meet  on  April  28,  his  insouciance  must  have  been 
to  some  extent  affected  by  the  prevailing  sense  of  un 

It  was  possible,  indeed,  without  the  gift  of  prophecy, 
to  foretell  an  uncomfortable  session,  for  various  causes 
had  contributed  to  produce  a  large  measure  of  discontent 
in  the  country  There  had  been  no  Parliament  since  that 
of  1373,  when,  almost  at  the  close  of  the  Duke's  disastrous 
campaign,  every  one  had  been  deluded  by  the  Chancellor's 
assurance  that  all  was  going  well  at  the  front.  In  view  of 
the  strong  feeling  m  favour  of  annual  Parliaments,  a  feel 
ing  by  no  means  confined  to  constitutional  purists,  this 
three  years'  interregnum  was  sufficient  to  cause  alarm. 

Further,  the  country,  which  had  again  and  again  given 
expression  to  the  feelings  of  hostihtywith  which  it  regarded 
Papal  exactions,  and  the  relations  subsisting  between  the 
courts  of  Avignon  and  Pans,  received  with  surprise  and 
disappointment  the  results  of  the  negotiations  which  had 
been  carried  on  in  Flanders  by  the  Bishop  of  Bangor  and 
his  colleagues,  concurrently  with  Lancaster's  negotiations 



with  France,  and  the  anti-papal  or  national  party  con 
tended  with  some  show  of  reason  that  the  effect  of  the 
concordat  of  Bruges  was  merely  to  stereotype  some  of  the 
worst  ecclesiastical  abuses  which  it  had  been  intended  to 

More  general,  however,  and  more  serious  than  either 
of  these  sources  of  discontent  was  the  disappointment 
caused  by  the  military  failures  of  the  last  half  dozen  years 
A  series  of  brilliant  victories,  Sluys,  Crecy,  Wmchel- 
sea,  Poictiers  and  Najera,  had  reconciled  England  to  the 
tieavy  burden  ofiaxation  involved  in  Edward's  military 
ambitions,  but£so  soon  as  failure  took  the  place  of  the 
success  which  had  come  to  be  regarded  almost  as  the 
right  of  English  arms,  discontent  at  once  appeared,  and 
people  demanded  an  explanation  for  this  succession  of 
misfortunes — the  rebellion  of  Aquitaine,  the  costlvfiasco 
of  1372,  and  the  great  failure  of  the  following  year.  1 

Nor  was  the  administration  of  home  affairs  less  un 
popular.  The  King  had  of  late  years  abandoned  himself 
to  pleasure  and  the  control  of  affairs  to  ministers  who 
failed  to  command  the  confidence  of  any  one  but  an 
indulgent  or  indifferent  master  The  country  suspected 
them  of  abusing  their  trust,  and  did  not  hesitate  to  ex 
press  the  opinion  that  the  shortcomings  of  the  administra 
tion  were  due  quite  as  much  to  corruption  as  to  incom 

All  this  discontent  found  expression  in  the  national 
assembly  held  in  April  1376,  which,  on  account  of  its 
well-meaning  (though  inoperative)  efforts  at  adminis 
trative  reform,  has  achieved,  somewhat  cheaply  perhaps, 
the  title  of  the  "  Good "  Parliament,  As  the  episode 
which  has  now  to  be  related  marks  a  crisis  in  the  history 
of  John  of  Gaunt,  and  as  his  acts  in  this  Parliament  are 
responsible  for  the  usually  accepted  tradition  of  his 
character,  it  may  be  well  to  define  his  position  at  the  time 
when  the  eventful  session  began. 



In  the  first  place  it  is  clear  that  the  attack  delivered  on 
the  administration  was  not  aimed  at  Lancaster  in  person, 
and  that  at  the  outset  there  was  no  quarrel  between  the 
Parliament  and  the  Duke  John  of  Gaunt  had  not 
chosen  his  father's  ministers,  and  there  was  no  obligation 
upon  him  to  accept  responsibility  for  their  doings  It  is 
important  to  remember  the  directions  in  which  the  Duke 
had  exercised  his  influence  Hitherto  he  had  used  the 
position  which  his  territorial  power  as  much  as  his  birth 
gave  him,  to  secure  the  command  of  armies  and  the  con 
trol  of  foreign  relations.  Indeed,  up  to  the  year  1376 
there  had  been  little  opportunity  for  that  supposed  inter 
ference  in  home  politics  which  is  usually  included  in  the 
vague  phrase  "  Lancastrian  influence,"  for  during  the 
last  six  years  John  of  Gaunt  had  never  spent  twelve  con 
secutive  months  in  England  From  July  to  November, 
1369,  he  was  fighting  m  Picardy  ;  then,  after  staying  in 
England  just  long  enough  to  get  another  army  together, 
he  left  for  the  south,  where  the  campaign  and  lieutenancy 
of  Aquitame  kept  him  fully  occupied  for  the  eighteen 
months  between  June,  1370,  and  December,  1371.  The 
year  1372,  a  year  without  a  Parliament,  the  Duke  spent 
in  England,  save  for  his  two  months'  absence  with  the 
fleet  m  the  autumn,  but  in  July,  1373,  he  left  England 
once  more,  not  to  return  until  the  end  of  April,  1374, 
while  from  that  date  to  the  opening  of  the  "  Good  "  Par 
liament  two  diplomatic  missions  to  Flanders  account  for 
nearly  a  year's  absence 

If  the  country  held  the  Duke  responsible  for  the  conduct 
of  military  operations  and  negotiations  with  foreign 
powers  he  could  not  complain,  for  that  was  the  sphere  of 
action  which  he  had  jealously  marked  out  for  himself. 
Even  here,  however,  one  reservation  has  to  be  made.  In 
the  Church  question  the  Duke's  sympathies  were  cer 
tainly  on  the  side  of  the  Papacy  as  opposed  to  the 
national  party,  as  his  later  action  shows,  but  as  yet  he 



had  not  betrayed  this  inclination  or  formulated  an 
ecclesiastical  policy,  and  he  was  therefore  free  as  yet 
from  the  unpopularity  which  such  sympathy  would  en 
tail  with  a  large  section  of  the  nation 

In  April,  1376,  therefore,  the  Duke's  unpopularity, 
such  as  it  was  (and  it  was  in  no  way  comparable  to  the 
feeling  with  which  he  was  regarded  three  months  later), 
arose  from  one  main  and  principal  cause  He  stood  be 
fore  the  country  as  the  unsuccessful  general,  the  leader 
whose  promises  had  proved  delusive  and  whose  policy  had 
failed,  the  commander  who  had  poured  out  blood  and 
treasure  lavishly  in  the  war  without  achieving  any  result, 
who  had  impoverished  the  country  and  led  an  English 
army  to  ruin,  where  others  had  brought  back  king's 
ransoms  and  won  victories  which  stirred  the  reluctant 
admiration  of  Europe.  To  this  must  be  added  the  dislike 
of  his  countrymen  for  the  Castihan  marriage  and  their  fear 
of  the  international  difficulties  which  it  appeared  to  in 
volve,  and  the  natural  suspicion  which  they  felt  for  one 
who,  not  content  with  his  extraordinary  position  as  the 
wealthiest  subject  of  the  English  crown,  surrounded  him 
self  with  royal  state  and  claimed  also  the  respect  due  to 
the  King  of  Castile  and  Leon 

Such  was  the  position  of  John  of  Gaunt  when  the  session 
of  Parliament  began  •  he  came  to  Westminster  with  the 
consciousness  of  failure  ,  his  pride  as  a  soldier  touched,  his 
ambition  cruelly  disappointed — a  disappointment  the 
bitterness  of  which  can  only  be  measured  when  it  is 
remembered  that  for  five  years  he  had  given  his  whole 
strength  to  the  Castilian  scheme,  and  that  before  another 
opportunity  occurred  of  attempting  to  carry  it  out,  he 
had  to  work  and  wait  for  thirteen  years 

On    Monday,  April    28,    the    "Good"    Parliament1 

i  For  the  '-Good"  Parliament  see  Rot  Parl  n  321-60,  Chr 
Angl  68-108,  Ixvn-lxviu  ,  Ixx-lxxn  ,  391-4  Wals  i 
320-321  Munmuth,  Cont^n.  218-20 



opened  in  the    Painted  Chamber  at  Westminster,  but, 
as  the  zeal  for   reform   which   animated  its  members 
failed  to   bring  them  to  Westminster  punctually,    the 
usual  adjournment   was   necessary  in  order   to   allow 
late-comers  to  take  their  places     The  next  day  their 
duties  were  explained  to  them  by  the  Chancellor,  Sir  John 
Knyvett :    to  provide  for  the  good  government  of  the 
realm,  the  safety  of  the  King's  dominions  and  the  prosecu 
tion  of  the  war — a  sufficiently  comprehensive  programme. 
On  all  grounds  a  liberal  subsidy  was  necessary,  and  the 
Commons  were  invited  to  sanction  it  without  delay.    The 
Commons,  however,  had  no  intention  of  doing  any  such 
thing,   and  pi  ef erred  to  assert  the  sound  constitutional 
principle  that  redress  of  grievances  should  precede  supply. 
Before  the  King  could  have  his  votes  there  were  scores  to 
settle  with  his  ministers,  and,  as  a  prelude  to  the  attack 
which  they  intended  to  deliver,  following  the  precedent 
set  in  1373,  they  invited  a  committee  of  Peers  to  join  their 
deliberations     Among  those  on  whom  their  choice  fell, 
the  Bishops  of  London,  Norwich,  Carlisle,  and  St  David's, 
the  Earls  of  March,  Stafford,  Warwick  and  Suffolk,  and 
Lords  Henry  Percy,  Guy  Bryan,  Henry  le  Scrope  and 
Richard  Stafford,  John  of  Gaunt  had  two  supporters  at 
least,  for  Adam  Houghton,  Bishop  of  St.  David's,  was  an 
adherent,  and  Henry  Percy,  though  not  yet  a  declared 
partisan,  must  from  the  first  have  been  drawn  to  the  side 
of  the  Duke  by  kinship,  common  service  in  the  wars,  and 
class  feeling. 

Having  thus  stiffened  their  ranks  with  these  twelve 
lords  spiritual  and  temporal,  the  Commons  next  selected 
a  "  Speaker  "  Their  mouthpiece  was  Sir  Peter  de  la 
Mare,  one  of  the  knights  of  the  shire  for  the  county  of 
Hereford,  and  steward  to  the  Earl  of  March,  a  man  whose 
courageous  bearing  justified  their  confidence,  and  whose 
sacrifices  in  the  cause  were  to  win  him  a  place  among  the 
martyrs  of  Parliamentary  freedom. 



It  was  no  easy  task  which  their  choice  laid  upon  him, 
for,  true  to  the  maxim  that  "  the  King  can  do  no  wrong," 
the  Speaker,  m  attacking  the  royal  ministers,  had  to  avoid 
the  semblance  of  attacking  their  master,  and  while  de 
nouncing  the  administration  to  show  due  respect  to  the 
sovereign  himself  Sir  Peter  discharged  his  duty  without 
hesitation,  and  without  mincing  words. 

The  Commons  had  been  asked  to  vote  supplies  :  every 
one  must  be  aware  how  heavy  was  the  burden  of  taxation 
hitherto  borne  by  the  country  Yet  that  burden,  heavy 
as  it  was,  would  have  been  borne  cheerfully,  had  the 
country  derived  from  it  any  proportionate  advantage 
The  conduct  of  military  operations  had  not  been  success 
ful.  (Here  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  must  have  turned 
colour )  But  the  nation  would  have  acquiesced  even  in 
failure,  had  the  moneys  voted  been  spent  upon  the  war. 
That  the  reverse  was  the  case  was  notorious.  The  King 
was  poor  because  his  Ministers  were  greedy  and  corrupt , 
the  constant  need  for  taxation  was  the  result  of  minis 
terial  dishonesty.  It  was  imperative  that  a  close 
scrutiny  should  be  held  of  public  accounts. 

Sir  Peter  sat  down.  The  boldness  of  his  attack  had 
made  a  great  impression.  The  manifesto  was  a  sufficient 
achievement  for  one  day's  session,  and  the  House  ad 
journed  So  far  nothing  had  been  said  which  could  be 
construed  as  an  attack  on  the  Duke  of  Lancaster,  The 
single  casual  reference  to  military  failure  was  the  only 
point  at  which  Parliamentary  criticism  had  touched  him, 
and  at  the  end  of  the  first  day's  session  John  of  Gaunt 
stood  absolutely  free  to  choose  his  course.  He  might 
have  stood  aloof  and  watched  the  efforts  of  the  Commons 
to  assert  some  sort  of  control  over  the  executive  ;  on  the 
other  hand,  he  might  have  thrown  his  influence  into  the 
scale  of  reform,  and  given  his  sympathy  to  the  popular 
party,  as  the  Prince  of  Wales  was  understood  to  have  done . 
Unhappily  for  himself  and  for  the  peace  of  political  life, 



the  Duke  chose  neither  the  liberal  side,  nor  the  cautious 
and  safe  alternative  of  neutrality.  With  any  theory  of 
popular  control  of  the  administration  he  had  no  vestige 
of  sympathy,  and,  over-rating  his  own  strength  and  under 
estimating  that  of  the  opposition,  he  was  not  inclined  to 
stand  aside  in  the  quarrel 

The  Ministers  who  had  been,  as  yet  covertly,  attacked, 
were  his  father's  servants  [Criticism  of  the  administra 
tion  was,  in  the  Duke's  eyes,  criticism  of  the  Crown,  and 
the  King's  son  was  the  representative  of  the  Crown  and 
the  natural  champion  of  the  court  party  1 

Yet,  when  the  session  was  resumed  on  the  following  day, 
the  Duke's  demeanour  was  remarkably  gracious  It  is 
quite  clear  that  by  the  exercise  of  his  personal  influence 
he  still  hoped  to  avert  anything  like  a  definite  conflict 
between  the  popular  party  and  the  court,  and  as  yet  not 
fully  conscious  of  the  extreme  bitterness  of  feeling  which 
animated  the  opposition,  or  of  the  strength  of  their  cause, 
he  relied  on  compromise 

Acknowledging  the  sacrifices  which  had  been  made  by 
the  country,  the  Duke,  in  a  sympathetic  address,  invited 
the  Commons  to  declare  their  grievances,  and  promised 
to  use  all  his  influence  to  secure  redress 

But  the  Commons  were  in  no  mood  for  conciliation  or 
half-measures  :  they  took  the  Duke's  invitation  literally, 
and  through  the  mouth  of  Sir  Peter  de  la  Mare  proceeded 
to  make  a  sweeping  condemnation  of  the  administration 
The  first  victims  to  be  impeached  were  William  Lord 
Latimer,  Chamberlain  to  the  King  and  a  member  of  the 
Privy  Council,  and  Richard  Lyons,  a  wealthy  London 

Latimer  was  charged  with  oppression  and  extortion  in 
Brittany,  and  with  wholesale  embezzlement  of  public 
money  In  particular  he  was  said  to  have  sold  the  castle 
of  Saint  Sauveur  to  the  enemy,  to  have  prevented  the 
relief  of  Becherel,  and  to  have  appropriated  eight  thousand 



marcs  out  of  a  fine  of  ten  thousand  marcs  inflicted  on 
Sir  Robert  Knolles,  which  had  passed  through  his  hands, 
and  to  have  perpetrated  a  similar  fraud  in  connexion 
with  a  fine  levied  on  the  city  of  Bristol. 

Conjointly  with  Latimer,  Richard  Lyons  was  charged 
with  similar  misappropriation  of  public  funds  ;  they  had 
lent  to  the  King,  it  was  said,  twenty  thousand  marcs,  at 
a  time  when  no  loan  was  needed,  and  had  repaid  them 
selves  twenty  thousand  pounds,  the  whole  transaction 
being  cloaked  under  fictitious  names,  and  they  had  made 
a  "  corner  "  in  imported  goods,  raising  the  price  for  their 
own  profit  to  such  an  exorbitant  scale  that  the  poor  had 
been  starved  in  consequence 

Even  now,  when  the  Commons  had  declared  war,  the 
Duke  hesitated  to  join  in  the  struggle  ;  he  attempted  to 
gain  time,  and  after  these  sweeping  charges  had  been 
heard,  postponed  judgment  to  a  further  sitting.  In  the 
meantime  the  Commons,  for  the  first  time,  fell  foul  of  one 
of  the  Duke's  personal  friends  Lord  Latimer  was  of 
course  well  known  to  Lancaster,  who  had  occasionally 
employed  him  in  positions  of  trust,  but  he  was  not  one  of 
the  Lancastrian  party  Terrorized  by  the  indictment  of 
the  Speaker,  he  had  attempted  to  enlist  the  sympathy  of 
one  who  was  united  to  the  Duke  by  the  strongest  ties,  John 
Lord  Neville  of  Raby,  a  constant  companion  of  the  Duke, 
who  had  enrolled  him  in  his  retinue  When,  however, 
Neville  hinted  to  the  Speaker  that  the  violence  of  his 
attack  on  one  of  the  officers  of  the  royal  household  might 
expose  him  to  unpleasant  consequences,  he  was  met  with 
the  open  threat  that  his  own  case  would  shortly  be  dealt 
with,  a  threat  which  the  Commons  made  good  by  peti 
tioning  for  the  removal  of  Lord  Neville  from  the  position 
of  Steward  of  the  King's  household 

It  is  impossible  to  say,  on  the  evidence  which  has  sur 
vived,  how  far  Latimer  and  Lyons  were  guilty  of  the 
charges  brought  against  them ,  what  is  certain  is  that 



the  Commons  believed  them  guilty,  and  the  Duke  was 
compelled  to  allow  them  to  be  punished  Latimer  was 
deprived  of  the  office  of  Chamberlain  and  placed  under 
arrest,  a  number  of  peers  going  surety  for  him.  Lyons 
was  to  be  condemned  to  forfeiture  and  imprison 

When  the  Commons  proceeded  to  attack  Alice  Ferrers, 
they  were  adopting  a  course  which,  bold  as  it  was,  pro 
bably  commanded  the  sympathy  of  all  sections  of  the 
House.  The  royal  mistress  had  completely  dominated 
the  court,  and  abused  the  influence  which  she  exercised 
over  the  King  in  the  most  shameful  manner,  interfering 
with  the  course  of  justice,  and  enriching  herself  at  the 
expense  of  others,  after  the  manner  of  her  kind  One  of 
the  victims  of  her  oppression  was  the  Abbey  of  St,  Albans, 
a  fact  which  is  not  without  its  influence  upon  the  history 
of  the  proceedings.  The  prosecution  of  the  royal  favourite 
came  nearer  to  a  direct  attack  upon  the  King  than  any 
other  act  of  the  session ,  it  also  placed  Lancaster  in  a 
position  of  the  utmost  difficulty.  The  influence  of  the 
mistress  was  the  only  serious  rival  to  his  own  power  with 
the  King,  who  was  completely  infatuated  with  the  woman, 
and  could  not  bear  to  be  parted  from  her.  Personally  the 
Duke  had  nothing  to  gain  from  her  presence  at  the  court, 
and  everything  to  lose,  for  her  connexion  with  the  King 
discredited  the  court  party,  and,  as  will  be  seen,  stood  in 
the  way  of  the  Duke's  own  projects.  Probably,  there 
fore,  he  was  not  sorry  when,  upon  the  unanimous  peti 
tion  of  the  opposition,  Alice  Perrers  was  condemned  to 
banishment  from  the  court  and  to  confiscation  of 

In  the  middle  of  this  conflict  between  parties,  on 
Trinity  Sunday,  June  8,  died  Edward  Prince  of  Wales, 

1  On  January  19,  1378,  John  of  Gaunt  obtained  a  grant  (after 
wards  surrendered)  of  the  forfeited  property  of  Alice  Perrers  in 
London,  Rot.  Pat. 


JOHN   OF   GAUNT     - 

and  England  was  thrown  into  mourning  for  one  whose 
career  is  among  the  most  brilliant  and  the  most  sad  of 
whom  her  annals  tell.  If,  as  has  been  conjectured,  the 
Black  Prince  had  been  the  strength  of  the  opposition  in 
the  battle  with  his  father's  Ministers,  his  death  would 
assuredly  have  dealt  the  party  a  blow  from  which 
it  could  scarcely  have  recovered.  Since  1370,  however, 
the  Prince  had  been  unable  to  take  any  part  in  affairs,  and 
apart  from  the  tradition  that  he  openly  sympathized  with 
some  effort  at  reform,  there  is  no  sufficient  evidence  for 
the  view  which  represents  him  as  a  violent  partisan 
of  those  who  were  attacking  the  court,  or  for  drawing 
an  imaginary  line  of  cleavage  between  the  Prince  of  Wales 
on  the  one  hand  and  the  King  and  the  Duke  of  Lancastei 
on  the  other  The  immediate  political  result  of  the 
Prince's  death  was  not  to  discourage  the  popular  party, 
which,  on  the  contrary,  redoubled  its  efforts,  but  to  bring 
Prince  Richard  one  step  nearer  to  the  throne  and  to  in 
tensify  the  suspicions  of  the  Duke's  enemies  on  the  deli 
cate  question  of  the  succession,  On  this  subject  all  kinds 
of  rumours  were  rife,  one  of  the  most  improbable  being 
to  the  effect  that  John  of  Gaunt  chose  this  critical  moment 
for  a  proposal  to  set  aside  the  right  of  succession  through 
females,  in  order  to  remove  from  the  direct  line  the  heirs 
of  Lionel  of  Clarence,  Phihppa  and  her  husband  the  Eail 
of  March.  No  position  more  invidious  than  that  of 
John  of  Gaunt  at  this  time  could  well  be  imagined, 
He  stood  before  England  as  Viceroy  of  a  dying  king 
whose  heir  apparent  was  a  helpless  minor.  It  was  in 
evitable  that  to  the  least  ambitious  of  men,  situated  as 
he  was,  designs  on  the  throne  would  be  imputed  The 
Black  Prince  at  least  harboured  no  such  thoughts  with 
regard  to  the  loyalty  of  the  brother  who  had  been  his 
constant  companion  and  comrade-in-arms  from  boyhood 
onwards,  for  on  the  day  before  he  died  the  Prince  named 
fiist  among  his  executors  his  "  very  dear  and  well-beloved 



brother  of  Spam," i  and  the  best  friend  whom  the  Duke 
had  to  rely  on  in  the  troubled  days  after  his  nephew  came 
of  age  was  the  Princess  Joan.  But  the  suspicion  which 
the  Prince  repudiated  the  Commons  chose  to  publish  and 
emphasize.  The  last  act  of  the  "  Good  "  Parliament  was 
to  request  that  Prince  Richard  should  be  introduced  to 
Parliament  forthwith,  while  to  neutralize  the  Duke's  power 
it  was  proposed  that  a  permanent  body  of  ten  or  twelve 
peers  should  be  added  to  the  council,  some  of  whom  were 
always  to  be  attached  to  the  King's  person.  In  com 
plying  with  the  former  request  and  causing  the  lands 
and  titles  of  the  Prince  of  Wales  to  be  at  once  bestowed 
on  the  infant  Prince,  John  of  Gaunt  never  forgave  the 
thoughts  which  had  prompted  it ,  the  slur  on  his 
honour  roused  him  to  fury. 

(.  A  man  of  stronger  purpose  and  weaker  principle  might 
have  been  tempted  to  some  such  treason  as  the  Commons 
suspected,  but  Lancaster  was  true  to  the  ethical  code  of 
his  age  and  his  class"}  John  of  Gaunt  was  of  a  different 
mettle  from  Henry  of  Bolmgbroke,  nor  was  England  in 
1376  prepared  for  that  change  of  dynasty  which  twenty 
years  of  ill  government  made  welcome  in  1399. 

A  false  imputation  of  disloyalty  is  the  greatest  wrong 
that  a  man  can  suffer,  and  Lancaster's  thirst  for  revenge 
hunied  him  into  a  course  of  action  which  violated  law  and 
justice  alike.  No  sooner  had  the  members  dispersed  than 
the  Duke,  assuming  an  authority  which  no  King  of  Eng 
land  had  dared  to  exercise,  and  for  which  no  precedent 
could  be  found  since  the  first  beginnings  of  constitutional 
government,  declared  the  "  Good  "  Parliament  to  be  no 
Parliament  at  all,  and  condemned  its  acts  as  null  and  void. 
He  dismissed  the  council  which  the  Commons  had  tried 
to  place  about  the  King,  restored  those  who  had  been 
impeached,  and  allowed  the  King's  mistress  to  return  to 
the  court 

i  Royal  Wills ,  p.  75. 


Not  content  with  undoing  the  work  of  one  of  the 
longest  and  busiest  sessions  in  the  history  of  Parliament, 
he  determined  to  punish  the  leaders  in  such  a  way  as 
should  serve  as  a  warning  to  others  for  all  time. 

Two  men  in  particular  were  singled  out  to  bear  the 
brunt  of  his  wrath  It  was  by  the  mouth  of  the  intrepid 
Speaker  of  the  Commons  that  the  defiance  had  been 
uttered ,  among  all  the  denunciations  of  Sir  Peter  de 
la  Mare  that  of  Alice  Ferrers  had  been  the  most  vehe 
ment.  For  once  the  royal  mistress  and  the  only  rival  of 
her  influence  with  the  King  found  themselves  agreed : 
Sir  Peter  was  sent  to  imprisonment  in  Nottingham  Castle 

The  second  victim  was  more  illustrious  and  more  diffi 
cult  to  reach,  Among  those  who  had  prompted  the  im 
peachment  of  Lord  Latimer,  William  of  Wykeham  had 
shown  the  greatest  bitterness,  even  proposing,  it  is  said, 
to  refuse  the  prisoner  time  and  counsel  for  his  defence 

But  apart  from  his  prominence  in  the  attack  upon  the 
court,  there  were  reasons  which  had  suddenly  changed  the 
feelings  of  John  of  Gaunt  towards  the  man  who  had 
hitherto  in  a  special  degree  shared  his  confidence.1 

William  of  Wykeham  had  risen  from  obscurity  to  such 
a  position  of  influence  at  the  court,  that  Froissart  records 
with  astonishment  that  without  the  advice  of  this  single 
priest  nothing  of  importance  was  done  in  England  3  Such 
preferment  the  Bishop  owed  to  his  own  administrative 
capacity  and  to  royal  favour.  That  the  power  of  the 
great  feudatories  should  be  equalled  by  that  of  an  official 
hierarchy  was  bad  enough  :  that  this  power,  created  by 

1  The  name  of  the  Bishop  of  Winchester  appears  with  those  of 
five  others  who  were  all  friends  and  household  officers  of  the  Duke, 
as  sureties  on  the  pledging  of  the  Honor  of  Richmond  in  1366, 
(Delpit   Collection,   p     124     ecu)    William  of  Wykeham  also 
appears  as  Attorney  for  the  Duke  in  1375      Foed  ,  vai  61      The 
only  notices  of  Lancaster  in  the  Bishop's  Register  are  purely 
formal,  viz  mandates  to  the  clergy  of  his  diocese  to  pray  for  the 
success  of  the  Duke's  military  expeditions, 

2  Froissart  K.  de  L.t  vii.  232. 



royal  favour,  should  be  used  to  oppose  the  King's  govern 
ment  and  criticise  the  King's  ministers  was  intolerable. 
So  argued  the  Duke  of  Lancaster,  regarding  the  Bishop's 
part  in  the  opposition  as  a  double  treason,  to  his  sovereign 
and  to  his  benefactor  So  must  be  explained,  but  not 
excused,  the  treatment  accorded  by  the  Duke  to  the  great 
minister,  whose  services  to  his  sovereign,  however  con 
siderable,  were  surpassed  by  those  services  to  the  cause 
of  learning  to  which  his  two  noble  foundations  have 
erected  an  imperishable  monument. 

The  Duke's  vengeance  was  thorough  He  chose  two 
weapons  to  attack  his  enemy.  The  first  was  a  charge  of 
malversation,  difficult  to  prove,  impossible  to  disprove, 
and  certain  to  carry  conviction  with  those  who  were 
anxious  to  be  convinced.  It  is  needless  to  examine  the 
charges  in  detail *  Probably  Lord  Latuner  was  innocent 
of  several  of  the  counts  of  the  indictment  upon  which 
he  was  condemned ;  certainly  the  accusations  launched 
against  William  of  Wykeham  were  merely  the  expression 
of  political  hatred 

The  Bishop  was  condemned  to  lose  his  temporalities, 
which  were  granted  to  Prince  Richard,  and  he  himself 
was  forbidden  to  come  within  twenty  miles  of  the  court.2 

The  second  mode  of  attack  was  more  subtle  in  concep 
tion,  more  far-reaching  m  effect.  William  of  Wykeham 
did  not  stand  alone.  He  was  one  of  the  class  of  political 
bishops  with  whom  on  more  occasions  than  one  the  court 
had  come  into  conflict  m  the  past,  and  with  whom  there 
were  to  be  bitter  feuds  m  the  near  future. 

John  of  Gaunt,  who  had  a  habit  of  discovering  interest 
ing  people,  had  met  at  Bruges  a  year  before  a  certain 
priest  John  Wy cliff e,  who  had  formed  decided  views 

*  One  may  deserve  notice  m  this  connexion  Among  those 
whom  the  Bishop  was  charged  with  oppressing  were  Sir  Thomas 
Fogg  and  Sir  John  Seyntlowe,  both  retainers  of  the  Duke  Foed, 
VII  164-70, 

2  FoedtVIl  142     Cf  132 



about  priests  who  neglected  the  cure  of  souls  for  the  care 
of  castles,  devoting  to  the  secular  seivice  of  the  state 
lives  conseciated  to  the  service  of  religion 

John  Wychffe,  born  near  Richmond  m  Yorkshire  (until 
1372  a  Lancastnan  Honor),  and  connected  with  a  family 
one  membei  of  which  at  least  was  known  to  the  Duke,1 
had  made  an  impression  on  the  man  who  had  discern 
ment  enough  to  see  much  meiit  in  Geoffrey  Chaucer  and 
none  in  Walter  of  Peterborough  There  were  other  views 
besides  those  in  question,  which  Wycliffe  held  and  pub 
lished,  but  in  order  to  secure  co-operation  on  the  lines  of  a 
particular  policy  it  is  not  necessaiy  to  sympathize  with 
a  man's  whole  scheme  of  thought, 

Two  months  after  the  close  of  the  "  Good  "  Parliament  a 
courier  was  ndmg  from  Westminster  to  Oxford,  with  a 
summons  to  Wycliffe  to  appear  m  London  before  the  King's 
council,2  and  for  the  next  six  months,  by  the  mandate  and 
under  the  protection  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster, the  reformer 
was  busied  in  exposing,  with  the  all  power  of  his  moral 
earnestness  and  unrivalled  dialectic,  the  abuses  and  evils 
of  a  corrupt  church,  Such  was  the  answer  of  the  Duke 
of  Lancaster  to  clerical  zealots  for  administrative  refoim, 
and  so  ended  one  of  the  most  deeply  interesting  episodes 
m  the  political  history  of  England 

It  is  unfortunate  that  by  far  the  most  graphic  account 
of  the  events  of  these  three  months  comes  from  a  source 
which  is  rendered  wholly  untiustworthy  by  the  violence 
of  its  bias  The  story  of  the  Monk  of  St,  Albans,  how 
ever  dramatic  and  full  in  detail,  forms  a  most  unsub 
stantial  basis  for  sober  history 

The  tone  of  his  writing  may  be  gauged  from  its  intro 
duction.  Nothing  short  of  a  miracle  would  be  a  fitting 
consecration  of  the  efforts  of  the  reforming  party.  There- 

1  Warrant  to  the  Chief  Foi  ester  of  Knaresborongh  to  deliver 
one  buck  to  Sir  Robert  de  Wycliffe,  Reg  I  f  197 

2  Is  site  Roll,  p  200 



fore  a  miracle  is  forthcoming  One  of  the  knights  of  the 
shire,  our  author's  informant,  on  the  eve  of  the  impeach 
ment,  goes  to  bed,  his  thoughts  full  of  the  evils  of  the 
times.  Naturally  he  dreams.  With  his  fellow  members 
he  is  sitting  in  the  Chapter  House  at  Westminster  (though 
by  a  slip  of  the  pen  the  Monk  of  St  AlbanssaysSt  Paul's) 
He  sees  on  the  floor  seven  golden  coins,  picks  them  up, 
and  being  an  honest  man,  goes  about  trying  to  find  the 
owner.  Strangely  enough,  no  one  claims  the  money,  and 
when  the  finder,  in  his  quest,  reaches  the  Choir,  he  dis 
covers  a  number  of  monks  conspicuous  by  their  black 
robes  (worn  also  by  our  Benedictine  author)  and  then- 
pious  and  godly  bearing  To  his  question  if  any  one  of  them 
has  lost  the  coins  their  leader  replies :  "  My  son,  those 
seven  coins  have  not  been  lost ;  they  are  the  seven  gifts 
of  the  Holy  Spirit,  bestowed  upon  you  and  the  other 
faithful  Commons  who  are  to  reform  the  abuses  of  Gov 
ernment  "  Such  is  the  proem  •  the  rest  is  in  keeping. 

The  Chromcon  Anghae  for  this  period  indeed  reads  like 
the  "  Annals  "  on  the  reign  of  Nero.  Like  Tacitus,  the 
Monk  loves  bright  lights  and  dark  shadows,  and  abhors 
semitones  The  reformers  are  men  of  saintly  life  and  in 
spired  wisdom  ;  the  court  party  are  villains,  traitors, 
adulterers  and  murderers  With  an  eye  for  contrast  and 
a  love  of  antithesis,  the  author  cannot  refrain  from  seeing 
some  occult  meaning  even  in  the  names  of  the  hero  and 
the  villain  of  the  piece  Peter,  the  name  of  the  Speaker 
of  the  Commons,  suggestive  of  apostolic  boldness  and 
eloquence,  is  worthily  borne  by  one  whose  cause  is  built 
upon  a  rock  of  popular  good  will!  But  as  for  John 
Plantagenet,  Quantum  mutatus  ab  illo !  His  words  and 
deeds  belie  the  name  borne  by  the  evangelist  Is  he  not 
altogether  devoid  of  grace  human  or  divine  ? 

When,  however,  the  Monk  of  St, Albans  comes  to  describe 
Lord  Latimer,  his  own  words  fail  him.  Conjuring  up  the 
picture  of  another  patrician  equally  abandoned,  equally 



pernicious  to  his  country,  the  monk  borrows  the  language 
of  Sallust  and  dresses  up  Latimer  in  the  rags  of  Catiline  l 

Unfortunately  no  Lancastrian  account  of  the  year  1376 
has  survived  Knighton's  histoiy  breaks  off  abruptly 
ten  years  before,  and  there  is  no  chronicle,  however  frag 
mentary,  to  balance  the  prejudice  of  St.  Albans  with  the 
bias  of  the  Savoy  Walsingham's  narrative,  toned  down 
to  respectability  when  the  son  of  John  of  Gaunt  had  be 
come  King  of  England,  surprises  the  reader  not  so  much 
by  its  omissions  and  alterations  as  by  the  large  amount 
of  abuse  which  has  been  suffered  to  stand,  and  it  is  not 
unnecessary  to  place  upon  record  a  protest  against  the 
too  literal  interpretation  of  a  chronicle  inspired  by  the 
double  acrimony  of  the  churchman  and  the  political 
partisan  2  Though  the  staunch  courage  of  Sir  Peter  de  la 
Mare  and  the  calm  dignity  of  William  of  Wykeham  must 
win  the  admiration  and  claim  the  sympathy  of  all  impar 
tial  minds,  it  must  also  be  admitted  that  the  popular 
party  adopted  an  extreme  and  somewhat  vindictive 
attitude,  and  that  it  was  their  suspicion  which  drove 
John  of  Gaunt  from  unwise  obstruction  to  violent  and 
unjustifiable  revenge. 

There  can  be  little  doubt  that  to  him  the  boldness  of 
the  attack  was  a  surprise,  an  unwelcome  revelation  of  a 
power  the  extent  of  which  he  had  never  realized,  and 
the  destiny  of  which  he  never  even  dimly  discerned 

The  Duke's  conception  of  political  life  was  old-fashioned, 
not  to  say  obsolete  The  prerogative  of  the  Crown  and 
the  predominance  of  the  noblesse,  especially  of  the  royal 
noUesse,  were  among  the  presuppositions  of  his  political 
creed,  while,  in  his  view,  the  sphere  of  the  faithful  Com 
mons  was  merely  to  register  the  decisions  of  the  Crown 
and  to  vote  supplies  for  the  King's  necessities. 

1  Sallust,  Bellum  Catihnae,  Ch  5,  Ed  Eussner     Chv  Angl  84 

2  See  Sir  E  Maunde  Thompson's  valuable  introduction  to  the 
ChromconAnghae>pp  Ixii  ban 



Hitherto  he  had  taken  little  interest  in  the  proceedings 
of  Parliament,  but  taught  by  Sir  Peter  de  la  Mare,  he 
begins  to  give  his  attention  to  questions  of  Parlia 
mentary  representation,  If  public  opinion  could  not  be 
ignored,  at  least  its  expressions  could  to  some  extent 
be  controlled  m  the  Commons,  nor  was  the  task  one  of 
extreme  difficulty  Henceforth  a  Lancastrian  party  is 
a  permanent  factor  in  the  composition  of  the  "Lower 
House,"  as  well  as  m  that  of  the  Lords  or  the  King's 
council ,  for  year  after  year  the  counties  where  the 
Duke's  interests  predominate,1  send  his  friends,  re 
tainers  or  administrative  officers,  to  Parliament  as 
knights  of  the  shire  A  year  later  John  of  Gaunt 
will  be  found  receiving  legal  powers  to  nominate  the 
members  for  the  County  of  Lancaster,  but  the  power 
which  in  that  county  possessed  a  legal  sanction  was 
exercised  de  facto  in  a  score  of  other  constituencies  The 
representation  of  Yorkshire  was  a  matter  of  the  Duke's 
discretion  as  entirely  as  that  of  the  County  of  Lancaster 
In  successive  Parliaments  the  electors  for  the  county  of 
Derby  chose  Sir  Avery  Sulny,  one  of  the  Duke's  master 
foresters,  Sir  Esmon  Appleby,  Sir  Thomas  Marchmgton, 
Sir  Philip  Okonore,  Sir  Thomas  Wennesley,  Oliver  de 
Barton,  or  John  de  la  Pole,  all  knights  or  esquires  of  his 
retinue,  while  Lincoln  in  like  manner  sent  now  a  retainer 
of  the  Duke,  now  his  feoder  for  the  county,  and  now  his 
chief  steward. 

Time  after  time  Sussex  returned  Sir  John  Sentcler  and 
Sir  Edward  Dalynngg,  one  a  retainer,  the  other  a  friend 
of  the  Duke,  while  m  Kent  Sir  Thomas  Fogg  found  as  safe 
a  seat  as  John  Mautravers  in  Dorset,  or  Sir  Thomas  Fychet 
and  Sir  Thomas  Hungerf ord  in  Wiltshire  and  Gloucester 
These  are  certain  and  obvious  instances  of  an  influence 
which  must  have  been  exercised  also  m  many  directions 

i  See  map  illustrating  the  territorial  interest  oi  the  Duke  of 



less  easy  to  follow,  and  it  is  not  surprising  that  the  Duke 
was  able  to  command  the  support  of  a  respectable  minority 
at  least  in  the  Commons,  whenever  he  might  desire  to 
issue  some  manifesto  or  urge  a  cherished  scheme  upon 
the  country.1 

Not  the  least  difficult  of  the  tasks  devolving  upon  this 
Lancastrian  party  was  to  defend  the  honour  and  good 
name  of  their  leader  among  their  colleagues.  For  his 
high-handed  treatment  of  the  popular  leaders,  coupled 
with  existing  causes  of  unpopularity  and  reinforced  by 
the  hostility  of  the  Church  which  had  already  been 
challenged,  created  for  a  time  a  fever  of  hatred  for  the 
Duke,  for  which  it  would  be  difficult  to  find  a  parallel  m 
English  history.  Henceforth  every  word  and  act  of  John 
of  Gaunt  becomes  the  object  of  rooted  suspicion  on  the 
part  of  enemies  constantly  on  the  alert  to  catch  some 
rumour  likely  to  damage  his  name,  or  to  discover  some 
fact  capable  of  being  twisted  into  evidence  of  criminal 
ambition,  and  where  the  slight  foundation  of  fact  which 
gives  stability  to  calumny  is  wanting,  imagination 
sharpened  by  "  odium  theologicum "  or  political  pas 
sion  readily  supplies  the  deficiency 

Dark  stones  of  treason  and  crime  crowd  the  pages  of 
the  "  Scandalous  Chronicle  "  ;  John  of  Gaunt  is  branded 
as  an  abandoned  libertine,  an  unscrupulous  intriguer,  a 
traitor  false  to  his  country  and  to  those  of  his  own  house, 
a  murderer  whose  hands  are  red  with  innocent  blood 

The  Duke's  personal  morality,  if  no  better,  was  certainly 
no  worse  than  that  of  the  court ,  the  standard  of  English 

1  These  are  the  most  obvious  instances  which  strike  one  on 
compaung  the  "  Return  of  every  Member  of  Parliament ' '  with  the 

It  is  impossible  to  say  exactly  where  the  Duke's  political  in 
fluence  ended,  and  I  recognize  a  number  of  names  in  the  lists  of 
Sheriffs  (PRO  Lists  and  Indexes,  No  IX.)  which  are  famihai 
as  those  of  members  of  the  Lancastrian  Household  and  Civil 



society  in  the  fourteenth  century  was  not  exacting  in  such 
matters,  and  putting  it  at  the  worst,  the  Duke  conformed 
to  the  standard  One  amour  m  early  youth,  and  in  later 
life  a  haison  which  lasted  nearly  thirty  years,  and  was 
eventually  covered  by  an  honourable  marriage,  do  not 
constitute  a  very  heavy  indictment  against  a  man  whose 
position  exposed  him  to  the  temptations  of  one  of  the 
most  luxurious  courts  of  Europe.  But  the  Monk  of  St 
Albans  launches  reckless  charges  of  gross  licentiousness, 
pretending  that  John  of  Gaunt  insulted  the  memory  of 
the  Duchess  Blanche  and  outraged  the  feelings  of  the 
Duchess  Constance  in  the  most  callous  and  shameful 
manner,1  while,  in  the  pages  of  his  inveterate  enemy, 
the  Duke,  who  though  a  hardened  is  an  inconsistent 
villain,  sins  and  weeps,  errs  and  repents  with  a  tiresome 
and  suspicious  regularity 2 

Again,  the  proudest  of  Plantagenet  princes,  a  "  vial 
full  of  Edward's  sacred  blood,"  trained  to  arms  by  the 
Black  Prince  and  Sir  John  Chandos,  mured  to  hardship 
and  danger  from  tender  years,  the  man  whose  livery  some 
of  the  bravest  soldiers  of  the  day  were  not  ashamed  to 
wear,  and  whose  knighthood  was  more  to  him  than  his 
royal  blood — this  man  placed  by  Froissart  among  the 
"  preux "  with  Duke  Henry,  the  Black  Prince  and 
Edward  III,  is,  according  to  the  "  Scandalous  Chron 
icle,"  a  coward.  It  is  his  habit  to  say  "Go!"  not 
"Follow  !  "  and  to  hang  back  out  of  the  reach  of  danger 
while  his  men  rush  to  the  assault.3 

This  is  merely  the  venom  of  the  cloister,  and  could  mis 
lead  no  one,  but  charges  of  political  crime  are  more  in 

1  Chv  Angl  75 

2  E  g,  Chr  Angl  328  ,  Wals  ii  43,  194,  etc 

3  Chr  Angl,  205,  describing  the  siege  of  St  Malo,  1378      The 
parallel  passage  in  Walsmgham  (i   374)  is  softened  down  to  in 



To  the  author  of  the  Chromcon  Anghae  it  was  axiomatic 
that  directly  or  indirectly  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  was  at 
the  root  of  any  base  intrigue  that  came  to  light  For 
instance-  in  1370  a  Gloucestershire  kmght,Sir  John  Minster- 
worth,  after  betraying  a  position  of  trust  in  the  army  of 
Sir  Robert  Knolles,  turned  traitor  and  sold  himself  to  the 
French.  Seven  years  later,  while  engaged  in  a  plot  of 
that  irreconcilable  Celt,  Owen  of  Wales,  he  was  captured 
in  Navarre  red-handed,  carrying  despatches  from  France 
to  Spain  relative  to  the  invasion  of  England  When 
brought  home  he  was  very  properly  hanged,  drawn  and 
quartered,  but  before  his  execution  he  was  allowed  to 
write  a  letter  to  the  King  This  letter,  which  probably 
contained  an  appeal  for  mercy  and  the  usual  kind  of 
promise  of  information,  was  opened  by  Henry  Percy  as 
Earl  Marshal,  and  no  more  was  heard  of  it  But  the 
Monk  of  St,  Albans  must  of  course  drag  the  Duke  in,  and 
leave  it  on  record  that  the  dying  appeal  of  Sir  John 
Mmsterworth  was  suppressed  by  Lancaster  and  Percy 
because  it  betrayed  the  secret  of  some  infamy  with  which 
both  were  stained1 

Once  more .  in  1380  a  charge  of  treasonable  corres 
pondence  with  the  enemy  was  bi  ought  against  Sir  Ralf 
Ferrers,  a  man  who  had  for  many  years  seived  the 
country  in  responsible  positions.  The  supposed  treason 
rested  on  the  evidence  of  letters  purporting  to  be  under 
his  seal,  containing  state  secrets  and  addressed  to  Bmeau 
de  la  Riviere,  Chamberlain  of  the  King  of  France,  Clisson, 
and  Bertrand  du  Guesclm.  These  letters  were  sent  by 
John  Phihpot  to  the  Duke,  then  on  the  Scotch  bordei, 
and  the  Duke  caused  Ferrers  to  be  arrested  and  sent  for 

1  Chr  Angl  65-6,  135-6,  399  Wals  i  310-1  ,  326  Fiois- 
sart,  K  de  L  vn  481  ,  via  16,50-51,90,430  ,  ix  508  Mmstei- 
worth  held  lands  of  Lancaster  on  the  Welsh  bolder,  and  the 
Register  contains  a  warrant  to  the  feeder  to  seize*  them  on  the 
ground  of  the  tenant's  treason,  Reg  i  f  91  and  11,  f  15, 



trial  to  the  Parliament  then  sitting  at  Northampton. 
The  Monk  of  St.  Albans  is  quite  satisfied  of  Ferrers'  guilt, 
and  relates  how  Lancaster  himself,  implicated  as  principal 
in  the  conspiracy,  was  secretly  encouraging  his  agent ; 
but  in  point  of  fact  the  incriminating  letters,  when  ex 
amined  by  a  judicial  committee  in  Parliament,  were 
proved  to  be  forgeries,  and  Sir  Ralf  Ferrers  was  acquitted, 
the  Earls  of  Warwick,  Stafford,  Salisbury,  and  North 
umberland,  Lord  Grey  de  Ruthyn,  and  the  Prior  of  St 
John  going  surety  for  him1 

This  running  comment  of  malice  is  kept  up  for  the 
next  dozen  years,  but  it  is  in  relation  to  the  critical 
years  1376-7  that  the  charges  are  most  definite  and  most 

It  was  at  this  time  that  the  famous  changeling  story 
came  into  vogue,  according  to  which  John  of  Gaunt  was 
no  true  son  of  Edward  III,  but  really  the  child  of  some 
Flemish  woman,  juggled  into  the  place  of  the  infant  whom 
Queen  Philippa  had  born  and  overlain  at  birth.  To 
shelter  herself  from  the  King's  anger  "good"  Queen 
Philippa  had  practised  this  fraud,  only  confiding  the 
shameful  secret,  under  seal  of  the  confessional,  to  the 
Bishop  of  Winchester,  and  enjoining  him  to  reveal  it  if 
ever  the  changeling  should  come  near  to  the  royal  suc 


It  is  not  likely  that  John  of  Gaunt  cared  to  challenge 
any  views  which  might  be  held  as  to  his  personal  morality, 
his  courage,  or  his  legitimate  birth,  but  on  one  score  he 
showed  himself  keenly  sensitive,  and  there  was  one  charge 
which  he  took  the  pains  to  rebut.  It  took  various  forms, 
from  the  crude  version  of  St.  Albans  that  Lancaster  was 

i  Chr  Angl  210,  278-9,  281  ,  Wals  i  447-8  ,  Rot  Part 
111  90-93  Froissart,  K.deL  xii  378 

11  For  the  changeling  story  see  Chr  Angl.  107,  398.  The  Baron 
Kervyn  de  Lettenhove,  accepts  it  1  After  all,  N'ttait  ^l  pas 
un  Granger  dans  la  maison  royale  ?  Froissart,  xxii.  34  (note). 



plotting  to  murder  his  nephew,1  to  the  more  elaborate 
fiction  of  a  deep-laid  international  conspiracy  An  ex 
amination  of  the  version  current  abroad  may  give  some 
idea  of  the  difficulties  in  which  Lancaster  found  himself 
in  the  unhappy  days  following  the  "  Good  "  Parliament 

The  great  march  of  1373  had  proved  a  signal  failure 
What  more  obvious  than  to  ascribe  failme  to  corruption  ? 
Between  1372  and  1376  envoys  weie  passing  between 
the  Count  of  Flandeis  and  the  King  of  Navarre,  an  inde 
fatigable  mtnguei,  whose  latest  scheme  was  to  organize 
a  confederacy  of  Flandeis,  Foix  and  Brittany  under  his 
own  leadership,  and  of  course  for  his  own  ends,  against 
Charles  V.  From  the  Navarrese  court  the  Count's 
envoys  brought  back  to  Flanders  a  truly  sensational 
rumour  There  was  a  secret  treaty,  they  had  heard, 
between  Charles  V  on  the  one  part  and  the  Duke  of 
Lancaster  on  the  other  Edward  III  was  dying  .  Prince 
Edward's  days  were  numbered  The  early  matrimonial 
adventures  of  Princess  Joan  offered  scope  not  only  for 
scandal,  but  for  legal  difficulties.  A  bull  from  Avignon 
would  declare  Prince  Richard  illegitimate.  (In  point  of 
fact  the  Pope  had  threatened  to  issue  such  a  bull  when 
the  life  of  Jean  de  Cros  was  m  danger  after  his  capture 
at  Limoges,  but  Lancaster's  intervention  had  prevented 
things  reaching  extremities.)  John  of  Gaunt,  with  the 
support  of  Charles  V,  would  then  supplant  his  nephew, 
and,  assured  of  the  throne  of  England,  would  pioceed  to 
seize  the  throne  of  Spam,  while,  as  the  price  of  abandoning 
the  French  war,  he  was  assured  of  the  benevolent  neu 
trality  of  Charles  V.2 

If  sensational  reports  such  as  this  found  a  place  in  the 

1  Consideravit  emm  senectutem  regis  cujus  mors  erat  in  janms, 
et  ]uventutem  pnncipis,  quern,  ut  dicebatur,  impotionare  cogi- 
tabatj  si  ahter  ad  reguum  pervemre  non  posset  Chr  Angl  92 

3Arctovesof  Lille3  quoted  by  Keivyn  de  Lettenhove.  Froissait, 
vm  460  (note). 



diplomatic  despatches  of  a  foreign  court,1  it  is  not  sur 
prising  that  the  rumours  which  have  been  noticed  were 
current  m  England,  and  we  read  without  extravagant 
surprise  that  m  1362  the  Duke  poisoned  Maude  of 
Lancaster,  his  sister-in-law,  to  re-unite  the  inheritance  of 
Duke  Henry,  and  that  in  1376  he  was  plotting  to  poison 
Richard  his  nephew  to  secure  the  succession  to  the 
throne  of  Edward  III ! 2 

It  would  perhaps  be  scarcely  worth  while  to  repeat  and 
examine  the  unsupported  charges  launched  by  the 
"  Scandalous  Chronicle,"  but  that  at  the  time  they  had  a 
real  political  significance  in  increasing  tenfold  the  diffi 
culties  of  Lancaster's  position,  and  that  since  they  have 
tended  to  give  a  real  if  unconscious  bias  to  history. 
Severally  unconvincing,  they  have  had  a  cumulative  effect 
upon  the  judgment  afforded  by  posterity  to  the  man  who 
was  their  victim,  for,  though  first  cast  out  at  random  with 
the  saving  clause  "  ut  dicitur,"  "  ut  fertur,"  "  ut  qui- 
dam  asserunt,"  they  have  been  repeated  not  as  rumours 
but  as  facts,  and  at  first  holding  by  a  most  precarious 
tenure,  they  have  in  course  of  time  and  by  dint  of  repeti 
tion  acquired  prescriptive  rights,  and  have  become  history 
by  courtesy, 

If  John  of  Gaunt,  by  setting  himself  for  a  while  above 
the  law,  helped  to  create  this  prejudice  and  played  into 
the  hands  of  the  prosecution,  it  is  only  fair  that  his  words 
and  acts  should  be  taken  also  as  evidence  for  the  defence, 

On  Christmas  Day,  1376,  six  months  after  the  death 
of  the  Black  Prince,  six  months  before  the  death  of 
Edward  III,  there  was  a  great  gathering  at  Westminster 
Palace  There  the  King,  or  rather  John  of  Gaunt 
acting  in  his  name,  had  summoned  the  great  feudatories 
and  all  the  men  of  note  at  the  court,  and  there  he  pre- 

1  For  other  echoes  of  these  suspicions  in  foreign  chronicles  see 
Chr  Vol.  257-8  ,  Istore  &i  Chromques  de  Flandres,  11.  144 
3  Kn  116. 



sented  to  them  Richard  of  Bordeaux  as  the  heir  to  the 
throne  and  kingdom,  while  the  Duke  of  Lancaster,  first  of 
all  as  the  greatest  of  the  Lords  Temporal,  knelt  down  be 
fore  the  throne  where  his  brother's  child  sat  at  the  King's 
side,  and  swore  to  accept  him  as  sovereign 1 

How  John  of  Gaunt  kept  his  oath  and  how  he  replied 
to  those  who  held  him  guilty  of  intended  treason,  he  was 
soon  to  show. 

1  Froissart,  K  de  L  vm  384-5 


Chapter  VII 


THE  last  Parliament  of  Edward  III  met  at  Westmin 
ster  on  January  27, 1377  1  Rank  and  file  had  been 
carefully  recruited,  and  the  whole  army  was  officered  by 
the  Duke's  partisans.  Just  before  the  session  began  he 
had  given  the  great  seal  to  Adam  Houghton,  Bishop  of 
St  David's,  an  old  friend  in  whose  foundations  both 
he  himself  and  the  Duchess  Blanche  had  shared.  The 
Speaker  of  the  Commons  was  Sir  Thomas  Hungerford,  a 
man  who  owed  his  knighthood  and  his  whole  fortunes  to 
the  Duke,  and  who  was  entirely  devoted  to  his  master's 
interests  2  The  acts  of  a  carefully  packed  Parliament, 
with  Chancellor  and  Speaker  in  the  Lancastrian  interest, 
may  fairly  be  regarded  as  the  acts  of  the  Duke,  and  a 
scrutiny  of  what  was  said  and  done  in  it  will  reveal  the 
Duke's  thoughts  and  intentions  The  result  is  clear.  On 
the  one  hand,  Lancaster  meant  to  answer  the  challenge 

1  Parliament   was    summoned   by    writ    dated   Dec     i.    5° 
Edward   III  for  the  quinzaine  of  St   Hilary  following,  and  sat 
from  Jan    27  to  March  2     Dugdale  Summons  to  Parl  291 ,  Rot 
Parl    11  361-75 }  Chr  Angl  108-9,  395  m-4*    Higd  viii  387, 
Murmmth22i     Wals  1,323-4 

2  Sir  Thomas  Hungerford  was  not  the  Duke's  Steward,  as  is 
usually  stated     He  was  successively  Chied;  Steward  North  and 
South  of  Trent,  an  administrative   office  in  the  Lancastrian 

The  Stewardship  of  Lancaster's  household,  an  honorary  position 
of  some  dignity,  was  at  this  time  held  by  Sir  William  Croyser 



oi  the  "  Good "  Parliament  in  the  most  unmistakable 
manner  }  on  the  other,  he  intended,  while  his  father  yet 
lived,  to  give  the  lie  once  and  for  all  to  the  calumnies 
which  had  been  circulated  about  his  designs  on  the  suc 
cession  The  acts  and  words  of  the  Parliament  form  a 
manifesto  of  loyalty  to  the  court  and  loyally  to  the 
legitimate  heir. 

In  the  first  place,  the  Duke  had  insisted  on  the  young 
Prince  Richard  being  introduced  into  Parliament  as  the 
King's  Lieutenant,  and  made  a  point  of  treating  the 
child  with  pronounced  deference 1  In  the  second,  he 
had  carefully  coached  his  friend  the  Bishop  of  St  David's, 
and  addressed  Parliament  through  his  mouth. 

The  Chancellor  opened  proceedings  in  the  Painted 
Chamber  at  Westminster  with  a  speech,  or  a  sermon, 
in  which  the  words  of  the  spiritual  father  and  the  courtier 
are  somewhat  grotesquely  blended,  beginning  with  an 
affectation  of  humility  which  is  more  conventional  than 
convincing,  seeing  that  he  had  the  whole  homily  entered 
on  the  Rolls  of  Parliament. 

Compared  with  the  wisdom  of  Lords  and  Commons, 
his  own  words  can  be  but  foolishness  Yet  he  knows 
they  will  willingly  hear  him — "  Libenter  suffertis  m- 
sipientes  cum  sitis  ipsi  sapientes " — the  more  so  as 
he  has  good  news  to  tell  The  King  has  been  afflicted 
with  a  grievous  sickness  ,  that  is  not  surprising,  for  whom 
God  loveth  He  chasteneth.  But  now  happily  he  is  on  his 
way  to  recoveiy 

This  was  scarcely  the  fact,  but  it  served  to  intioduce  the 
real  subject  of  the  Bishop's  discourse  For  the  mention  of 
the  King's  name  is  the  signal  for  a  eulogy  not  only  of 
Edward  himself,  but  of  the  whole  royal  family.  The  on 
slaught  of  1376  had  been  an  attack  on  the  King  and  the 
court.  This  is  Lancaster's  reply  "  Consider,  my  lords," 

1  Chr  Angl  in, 


says  the  Bishop,  speaking  for  John  of  Gaunt,  "  if  any 
Christian  King  or  any  other  Prince  in  the  world  had  ever  so 
noble  and  gracious  a  lady  to  wife,  or  such  sons  as  our  Lord 
the  King  "  The  reference  to  Queen  Philippa  was  singu 
larly  ill-judged  when  the  affaire  Periers  was  fresh  in  every 
one's  memory ,  and  it  was  going  a  little  far  in  view  of 
1373  to  say,  as  the  Bishop  proceeded  to  do,  that  the 
King's  sons  had  not  only  made  the  name  of  England 
dreaded  abroad,  but  had  enriched  the  country  and  realm 
But  the  Bishop  knew  his  points  ,  he  was  woikmg  up  to 
the  climax  The  country  should  be  grateful  for  King 
Edward  and  for  the  Duke  of  Lancaster,  But  not  only  was 
the  King  blessed  in  seeing  his  sons  about  him,  but  in  his 
son's  son.  Turning  to  the  royal  throne  where  the  child 
Richard  sat,  the  Chancellor  pronounced  a  eulogy  upon 
the  heir  who  was  to  succeed  to  the  throne  of  the  glorious 
Edward  Then  for  the  practical  application  of  the  text. 
Just  as  the  wise  men  from  the  East  had  brought  gifts  of 
gold  and  frankincense  and  myrrh  to  the  Child  at  Bethle 
hem,  so  the  faithful  subjects  of  the  King  should  bring 
their  gifts  to  the  cherished  heir  of  England,  in  liberal 
subsidies  for  the  defence  of  the  realm  and  in  their  true 
service  and  obedience. 

The  political  object  served,  the  manifesto  of  the  Duke's 
loyalty  published,  the  Chancellor  concluded  in  a  brief 
sentence  with  the  causes  of  the  summons  of  Parliament 
— provision  for  the  exigencies  of  national  defence. 
Under  colour  of  the  truce  the  French  had  been  pre 
paring  for  war,  and  when  war  broke  out  again  the 
enemy  would  not  be  single-handed  The  Scots  would 
be  with  them ,  and  finally  (the  reference  is  significant), 
Spam — that  is,  Castile  under  the  usurping  dynasty — 
would  help  to  fight  their  battles 

The  Chancellor  sat  down,  and  Sir  Robert  Aston,  the 
King's  Chamberlain,  rose  to  define  in  a  few  words  the 
policy  of  the  Government  to  the  Papal  See— to  find  a 



compromise    between    Papal   claims    and    the    King's 

As  the  business  of  Parliament  began,  everything  seemed 
to  be  working  well  The  obedient  Commons  voted  a 
poll-tax  of  fourpence,  and  refused  to  listen  to  the  protests 
of  the  small  minority  who,  in  spite  of  Lancastrian  elec 
tioneering,  had  retained  their  seats  from  the  last  Parlia 
ment,  and  were  demanding  a  fair  trial  for  Sir  Peter 
de  la  Mare 

On  the  committee  of  peers  chosen  (it  is  not  clear  by 
whom)  to  deliberate  with  the  Commons  the  Duke's  in 
terests  were  sufficiently  safeguarded  Arundel  and  War 
wick,  if  not  partizans,  were  at  least  friendly  at  this  time  , 
Lords  Percy  and  Fitz waiter  were  firm  adheients,  and 
Lord  Roos  was  among  the  Duke's  letamers, 

But  the  opposition  smothered  m  Parliament  found  a 
voice  outside .  the  Bishops  gallantly  continued  the 
quarrel 1  When  Convocation  met  (February  2)  William 
of  Wykeham  was  not  in  his  place  Obedient  to  the  sen 
tence  of  exile  from  the  court,  he  had  ignoied  the  mandate 
to  attend,  issued  by  Courtenay  as  Dean  of  the  Piovince 
Lancaster  had  several  firm  friends  on  the  episcopal  bench, 
but  whether  it  was  from  professional  feeling  or  from  want 
of  nerve  they  did  not  disturb  the  unanimity  with  which  the 
clergy  declared  their  intention  of  refusing  to  proceed  to 
business  until  their  brother  of  Winchester  was  present. 

Yielding  to  pressure,  the  Primate  appealed  to  the  King, 
and  William  of  Wykeham  appeared  and  took  his  place 

Courtenay  had  scored  his  first  successes  He  was  not 
content  If  the  great  Duke  of  Lancaster  was  for  the 
time  beyond  the  reach  of  spiritual  or  temporal  weapons, 
if  he  could  not  be  attacked  in  pei son,  he  could  be  attacked 
in  the  person  of  his  friends  Having  championed  the 
Duke's  victim,  the  Bishop  of  London  undertook  to  make 

1  Chr,  Angl.  114, 


a  victim  of  the  Duke's  champion  :  he  would  bring  John 
Wycliffe  to  book 

Wycliffe  was  cited  *  to  appear  before  the  Bishops  at  St. 
Paul's  on  February  19,  Parliament  yet  sitting 

For  six  months  the  London  pulpits  had  been  ringing 
with  denunciations  of  clerical  wealth,  luxury  and 
worldliness,  which  were  none  the  less  galling  because 
they  were  well  deserved,  and  with  anathemas  of  episcopal 
shortcomings,  the  application  of  which  was  obvious. 
For  these  crimes,  the  attack  on  the  wealth  and  worldly 
ambitions  of  the  prelacy,  and  for  these  alone,  Wycliffe 
was  arraigned. 

The  step  was  a  bold  one,  It  would  never  have  been 
taken  on  the  initiative  of  the  Primate,  for  Sudbury, 
a  man  of  peace  and  far  from  unfriendly  to  Lancaster, 
was  not  unenlightened,  and  for  some  of  the  abuses 
denounced  by  Wycliffe  had  scant  sympathy.  But 
Courtenay  was  a  man  of  different  metal.  In  his  eyes 
the  Primate  was  a  weakling  who  was  self-deceived  He 
was  one  of  those  crying  peace  where  there  was  no  peace  : 
and  there  could  be  no  peace  while  Wycliffe  was  allowed 
to  preach  with  impunity  doctrines  subversive  of  the  whole 
ecclesiastical  and  social  order.  But  the  dangerous 
fanatic  did  not  stand  alone  In  the  Court  he  had  the 
most  powerful  support  As  well  as  Lancaster,  the 
Princess  Joan  was  an  adherent ,  and  more  than  half 
London  openly  sympathized.  Therefore  when  Courtenay 
resolved  on  the  prosecution  he  was  playing  a  dangerous 
game  He  was  pushing  the  quarrel  with  the  Court  party 
to  extremes,  and  running  the  risk  of  alienating  the  sym 
pathy  of  his  own  diocese.  But  the  game  was  worth 
playing,  for  Wycliffe  was  not  only  an  enemy  of  the  Church, 
but  a  friend  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster. 
John  of  Gaunt  took  up  the  challenge.  His  first  step 

1  For  Wycliffe's  trial,  see  Chr  Angl  115-21 ;  397    Murimuth, 
223-4     Wals  i  3215-6     Higd  vm.  389-90, 



was  to  letain  four  friars,  one  from  each  of  the  great  men 
dicant  ordeis,  to  defend  the  prisoner,1  Because,  later, 
Wydiffe  and  the  fnars  were  bitter  enemies,  this  has  been 
questioned  But  there  can  be  little  doubt  of  it  In  the 
first  place  it  lests  on  the  stiongest  possible  evidence,  that 
of  the  Monk  of  St  Albans,2  who  hated  Lancaster  and 
Wycliffe  about  equally  In  the  second  place,  there  is 
nothing  antecedently  mipiobable  m  the  fnais  defending 
Wycliffe  m  1377  The  fnars  loved  Lancastei  and  hated 
the  Bishops  Wycliffe  was  attacking  political  bishops 
and  the  principle  against  which,  m  theoiy  at  least,  the 
whole  mendicant  oigamzation  protested— clerical  wealth 
Here  then  was  a  chance  of  gratifying  their  pation  and  their 
animosities— and  a  fine  chance  for  ecclesiastical  polemics  ! 

The  trial  was  to  take  place  on  the  afternoon  of  Thursday, 
February  19  Long  before  it  began  St.  Paul's  was  crowded 
to  overflowing  ,  all  who  could  had  found  places,  but  there 
was  a  mob  of  expectant  sightseers  outside,  for  half  London 
was  burning  with  excitement  about  the  trial,  the  greatest 
cause  celebre  of  the  day,  At  length  the  cortege  arrived  : 
Courtenay  and  his  bi  other  bishops,  and  the  prisoner, 
supported  by  Lancaster,  Percy,  and  other  notables,  and 
followed  by  the  four  mendicants  who  held  briefs  for  the 

The  first  difficulty  was  to  get  Wycliffe  through  the 
crowd  into  the  Lady  Chapel,  and  Percy,  Earl  Marshal, 
cleared  the  way  with  perhaps  unnecessary  violence. 
This  was  the  beginning  of  a  scene  Percy's  rough  methods 
and  indeed  the  use  of  the  Marshal's  authority  at  all  within 
the  precincts  of  St  Paul's  roused  the  Bishop  of  London, 
who  ordered  him  to  stop,  and  told  him  that  had  this  been 
foreseen  he  would  never  have  allowed  him  to  enter  the 
Cathedral.  Lancaster  joined  m  the  quarrel,  and  told  the 

1  Chr  Angl  118 

3  [Wycliffe]  ordmibus  adhaesit  Mendicantmm  eorum  pauper 
tatem  approbans,  perfectionem  extollens,    Chr  Angl  116. 



Bishop  that  Percy  would  continue  to  act  as  Marshal 
whether  the  Bishop  liked  it  or  not ! 

By  the  time  the  Lady  Chapel  was  reached  every  one 
was  fairly  heated  But  the  trial  was  even  yet  not  begun. 
The  prisoner  had  taken  his  place ,  his  friends  were  en 
couraging  him  The  scene  ivas  memorable  ,  one  which 
has  most  strangely  repeated  itself  in  the  drama  of 
history  A  century  and  a  half  later,  in  the  ancient  hall 
of  audience  at  Worms,  Martin  Luther  stands  at  the  bar 
before  a  Diet  of  the  Empire  ,  as  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse 
and  George  of  Frondsberg  encourage  the  monk  who  single- 
handed  hab  defied  the  thunders  of  the  Chuich,  so  now 
Lancaster  and  Percy  support  the  secular  priest  who  has 
dared  to  expose  the  sins  of  the  clergy 

At  Worms  George  of  Frondsberg  said  to  Luther  • 
"  Little  monk,  thou  hast  a  fight  before  thee  which  we, 
whose  trade  is  war,  never  faced  the  like  of "  1 

So  now  :  hard  soldiers  like  Lancaster  and  Percy  must 
have  admired  the  courage  of  the  poor  scholar  who  had 
dared  to  defy  the  whole  official  hierarchy  of  the  Church 

Whatever  their  own  views  might  be,  Lancaster  and 
Percy  were  going  to  see  fair  play 

Percy  began  the  next  episode  bj  ordering  Wycliffe  to 
be  seated.  The  indictment  was  long,  and  the  prisoner 
would  need  rest  The  Bishop  of  London  refused  to 
allow  it ,  Wycliffe  as  an  accused  priest  in  the  presence 
of  his  ordinary  must  stand 

As  Percy  and  the  Bishop  raged  at  each  other  the  crowd 
m  St.  Paul's  grew  more  and  more  excited  There  was  a 
curious  mixture  of  parties  in  London,  for  while  the  citizens 
were  loyal  to  their  Bishop,  Percy  was  as  yet  a  popular 
hero,  and  Wycliffe  had  half  of  London  for  him  The 
mob  in  St.  Paul's  began  to  take  sides  and  make  an  uproar 
When  Lancaster  joined  in  the  quarrel  it  was  worse.  The 

1  Frcmde.     The  Council  of  Trent,  p.  53, 


Duke  abused  the  Bishop,  and  the  Bishop  replied  in  kind  ; 
as  his  admirers  claim  the  victory  for  him,  it  may  perhaps 
be  conceded  that  the  episcopal  language  was  on  the  whole 
more  powerful 1  The  Duke's  temper  was  up  ;  he  swore 
that  he  would  humble  the  pride  of  the  Bishop  of  London 
and  all  the  bishops  m  England.  "  You  trust  in  your 
family,"  said  Lancaster  (the  Bishop  was  a  son  of  the 
Farl  of  Devon),  "  but  they  shall  not  help  you  ;  they  will 
have  enough  to  do  to  look  to  themselves,"  to  which 
Courtenay  replied  with  unction  that  he  trusted  m  God. 

When  a  muttered  threat  of  the  Duke  to  drag  the  Bishop 
by  the  hair  from  St.  Paul's  was  overheard,  the  uproar  m 
the  Cathedral  became  a  not.  Sympathy  for  Wycliffe 
might  divide  the  mob,  but  in  a  quarrel  between  the  Bishop 
and  the  Duke  they  were  united  It  had  long  been  clear 
that  there  would  be  no  trial.  The  meeting  now  broke  up 
in  confusion  ;  for  the  time  Wycliffe  was  free  The  devil 
had  known  how  to  save  his  own  f  2 

For  a  moment  Wycliffe  was  forgotten.  The  msult  to  the 
Bishop  of  London  excited  the  citizens  to  fury.  It  was 
taken  as  an  insult  to  the  city  itself,  and,  as  it  happened, 
it  confirmed  their  worst  fears  The  Duke  was  plotting 
against  civic  liberty  and  privilege.  The  "trial"  took 
place  in  the  afternoon  That  very  morning,  so  the 
citizens  heard,  a  petition  had  been  presented  m  Parlia 
ment  by  Thomas  of  Woodstock  and  Henry  Percy  to 
replace  the  Mayor  by  a  captain,  of  course  a  royal  officer, 
and  to  extend  the  Marshal's  jurisdiction  to  the  city 

The  next  day  (February  20)  the  citizens  held  a  meet 
ing  . 3  their  privileges  were  at  stake ;  their  corporate 
existence  was  threatened  In  the  middle  of  the  debate, 
enter  Lords  Fitz  waiter  and  Guy  Bryan,  Fitz- 

1  Erubuit  Dux  quod  non  potuit  praevalere  ktigio     Chr  Angl 

2  Chr  Angl  119 

3  Chr.  Angl  121-129,  397-398. 



waiter  was  himself  a  civic  officer  :  he  was  a  Standard- 
bearer  to  the  City ;  both  had  property  in  the  city,  and 
were  entitled  by  citizenship  to  be  present  But  they 
came  at  the  risk  of  their  lives,  for  anti-feudal  feeling  ran 
high.  Fitzwalter  had  news  to  tell :  he  came  to  add 
fuel  to  the  flames  In  violation  of  civic  liberty  the  Mar 
shal  was  detaining  a  prisoner  in  his  house  A  fatal 
precedent.  Let  the  City  beware !  It  is  not  clear  what 
game  Fitzwalter  and  Brian  were  playing,  for  both  were 
supposed  to  be  friends  of  the  Duke.  Perhaps  they  wanted 
to  see  what  was  going  on,  and  it  is  just  possible  that 
Fitzwalter  had  some  old  score  to  wipe  out  with  Percy. 
The  history  of  the  period  is  a  perfect  tangle  of  personal 
quarrels,  and  such  an  explanation  is  always  antecedently 
probable  Whatever  his  motive,  his  story  had  a  magical 
effect.  The  meeting  broke  up  in  a  moment :  the  citizens 
flew  to  arms  and  made  a  rush  for  the  Marshalsea. 
Percy's  doors  were  beaten  in  ,  the  pnsoner  was  found  in 
the  stocks  and  rescued,  and  his  stocks  were  burnt  in  the 
street  The  mob  searched  the  house  from  cellar  to  attic; 
pikes  were  thrust  through  every  curtain,  and  every  cup 
board  was  examined.  Happily  for  himself  the  Marshal 
could  not  be  found  As  it  happened,  that  day  Lancaster 
and  Percy  were  dining  in  London  with  Sir  John  d'Ypres, 
a  rich  London  merchant,  who  had  risen  to  knighthood 
and  to  so  high  a  position  of  trust  in  the  royal  household 
that  King  Edward  made  him  one  of  his  executors.  The 
mob  did  not  know  their  movements,  and  failing  to  find 
Percy  at  the  Marshalsea,  made  for  the  Savoy.  It  was 
this  false  scent  which  saved  the  life  of  the  Duke  and  the 
Marshal,  for  while  the  mob  was  howling  outside  the  gates 
of  the  Savoy  a  knight  of  Lancaster's  retinue  rode  to 
Ypres  Inn  to  give  the  alarm.  Breathless  with  haste  the 
knight  told  his  news  :  the  Marshalsea  was  gutted,  the 
Savoy  besieged,  London  in  arms  and  at  the  heels  of  the 
Duke.  Dinner  had  only  just  begun ;  in  fact,  according 



to  the  Monk  of  St,  Albans,  who  has  a  most  graphic 
and  detailed  account  of  the  whole  episode  duly  embel 
lished  with  ornaments  of  his  own  setting,  the  hors 
d'ceuvres  had  just  been  served.  But  there  was  not  a 
moment  to  be  lost.  Lancaster  and  Percy  rose  and 
made  for  the  river.  The  Duke  took  his  barge  up  the 
river  as  fast  as  oars  could  carry  it,  and  did  not  stop 
till  he  reached  Kenmngton,  where  Princess  Joan  and 
the  little  Prince  Richard  were  staying 

They  were  well  out  of  danger,  foi  the  blood  of  the 
Londoners  was  up.    Stray  retainers  of  the  Duke  found 
it  prudent  to  hide  their  badges ,  one,  braver  or  less  prudent 
than  the  rest,  who  refused  to  hide  the  proud  emblem  of 
the  Lancastrian  retinue,  Sir  John  Swynton,  a  Scottish 
knight,  was  badly  mauled  by  the  mob,  who  dragged  him 
from  his  horse  and  tore  the  badge  of  Lancaster  from 
his*  neck      A  priest   who    asked   what  the   not  was 
about,  being  told  that  London  was  going  to  make  the 
Duke  release   Sir  Peter   de  la  Mare,  in  a  rash  moment 
said  that  Sir  Peter  was  a  traitor,  who  ought  to  have 
been  hanged  long  ago     The  mob  beat  him  to  death 
At  length  the  Bishop  of  London,  roused  by  the  not,  came 
out  to  quiet  his  disorderly  diocese     It  was  February  20  3 
the  middle  of  Lent,  and  the  Bishop  entreated  the  citizens 
not  to  disturb  the  sanctity  of  the  lenten  season     The 
promise   of    satisfaction  succeeded    in  restoring    some 
degree  of  calm — a  result  which  speaks  well  for  his  in 
fluence,  and  the  rioters  promised  to  return  to  their  homes. 
One  more  picturesque  episode  before  the    day  closed. 
Outside  a  shop  in  Cheapside  there  was  hung  up  an  escut 
cheon   bearing    the  Duke's  arms — the  familiar  blazon 
Castile  and  Leon  quartering  England  and  France     Here 
was    a   chance   of   insulting   Monseigneur   d'Espaigne 
The  mob  hung  the  shield  up  reversed,  as  was  done  with 
the  arms  of  a  traitor  ! 

It  was  no  easy  task  which  the  flight  of  Lancaster  and 



Percy  to  Kennington  had  laid  upon  the  Princess  Joan, 
but  the  widow  of  the  Black  Prince  and  the  mother  of 
Prince  Richard  was  popular  in  the  city,  and  she  used  her 
influence  to  the  full  to  make  peace. 

Three  of  her  knights,  Sir  Aubrey  de  Vere,  Sir  Simon 
Burley  and  Sir  Lewis  Clifford  were  despatched  to  the  city. 
Vere  belonged  to  the  family  that  gave  to  Richard  when 
King  his  greatest  favourite  :  Burley  was  to  lose  his  life 
through  his  devotion  to  his  young  master,  and  Clifford 
was  notorious  for  his  Lollard  opinions.  The  choice  of 
emissaries  was  politic  ,  but  they  found  the  task  of  con 
ciliation  difficult  The  citizens  returned  an  answer  at 
once  respectful  and  firm  "The  Bishop  of  Winchester 
and  Sir  Peter  de  la  Mare  must  have  a  fair  trial "  .  and 
they  would  "have  the  traitor  wherever  he  were  found  "  : 
a  rather  obscure  threat,  to  which  Lancaster  found  a  ready 
explanation 1 

A  deputation  followed  to  explain  and  excuse  the  not 
For  a  long  time  they  were  denied  the  King's  piesence, 
but  at  length  the  Duke  consented  to  receive  them,  adding 
that  the  King  was  too  ill  to  be  disturbed  But  John 
Pmhpot,  spokesman  for  the  city,  stuck  to  his  point. 
His  message  was  for  the  King  alone,  and  he  was  not 
empowered  to  convey  it  through  an  intermediary. 
Brought  before  King  Edward,  Philipot  declared  the 
grievance  of  the  City ; — the  rumour  that  the  Mayor  was 
to  be  replaced  by  a  captain,  and  the  threats  levelled  at 
the  city  privileges  As  for  the  not  of  the  previous  day, 
and  the  insults  heaped  on  the  Duke,  that  was  the  work 
of  a  few  disorderly  persons  for  whom  the  city  was  in  no 
way  responsible,  people  who  had  nothing  to  lose  and  were 
bent  on  making  mischief.  He  protested,  however,  that 
neither  the  Duke  nor  his  men  had  suffered  any  material 

1  Here  the  Monk  of  St  Albans  is  sarcastic  "  Hoc  "  ait  [Dux] 
*'de  me  dicunt"  tanien  non  est  wedibile  eos  de  eo  hoc  dixisse 
(Chr  Angl.  127) 



damage  Perhaps  Sir  John  Swynton  would  have  taken  a 
different  view !  With  that  gracious  demeanour  which 
always  won  the  confidence  of  his  subjects,  King  Edward 
dismissed  the  deputation  with  the  assurance  that  he  had 
never  intended  to  cancel  the  liberties  of  the  city,  but  on 
the  contrary,  was  prepared  to  extend  them 

As  the  emissaries  left  the  presence  they  met  the  Duke, 
and  promised  him  that  those  guilty  of  the  insults  to  his 
name  should  be  punished  when  found  Of  course  no  one 
was  found.  So  far  from  any  discouragement  to  such  in 
sults  being  given,  matters  went  from  bad  to  worse.  Lam 
poons,  composed  in  terms  calculated  to  rouse  popular 
passion,  were  posted  about  in  the  principal  streets,  and 
the  Duke,  still  more  infuriated,  demanded  that  their 
authors  should  be  excommunicated 

By  this  time  the  civic  dignitaries  had  become  genuinely 
alarmed ,  thinking  things  had  gone  far  enough,  and 
intent  on  showing  their  innocence,  they  stood  by  while 
the  Bishop  of  Bangor  formally  excommunicated  those  who 
had  defamed  the  Duke's  good  name. 

Wycliffe's  trial  and  the  next  day's  riot  had  effectually 
stopped  the  business  of  Parliament  When  peace  and 
order  were  sufficiently  restored,  the  session  was  continued, 
but  the  Duke  and  the  Marshal  took  the  precaution  of 
riding  to  Westminster  with  a  strong  armed  retinue,  and 
gave  the  city  a  wide  berth,1 

The  opposition  of  the  clergy  had  only  served  to  ex 
asperate  the  Duke  Inside  Parliament  he  could  at  least 
do  what  he  would ,  the  majority  he  commanded  would 
secure  that  He  used  it  to  undo  the  last  remaining  acts 
of  the  previous  parliament  Among  the  victims  of  the 
reforming  party  some  were  illustrious  and  others  were 
obscure.  The  Duke  insisted  on  restoring  one  and 
all  to  their  former  estate.  The  restoration  of  petty 

1  Chr,  Angl   130 


offenders  could  certainly  not  benefit  him ,  on  the 
contrary,  it  could  only  damage  his  reputation,  Only 
one  of  the  impeached,  as  hab  been  seen,  was  a  friend 
of  the  Duke  But  in  spite  of  this,  Lancaster  insisted  on 
a  complete  reveisal  of  the  acts  of  1376 ,  nothing  less 
would  satisfy  his  vengeance,  and  without  this  the  chal 
lenge  to  the  opposition  would  be  incomplete 

The  answer  to  the  city  was  equally  decisive,  Sir  Peter 
de  la  Mare  remained  in  prison  On  February  23  a  selected 
body  of  lords  and  commons  went  to  Sheen  to  hear  the 
answers  given  by  the  King  to  the  petitions  which  had  been 
presented,  and  to  listen  to  the  general  pardon  which  the 
King  had  granted  to  mark  the  jubilee  of  his  reign  The 
interest  of  the  charter  of  pardon  lay  in  the  last  paragraph, 
in  which  "  Sir  William  of  Wykeham  "  was  excepted  by 

The  exchequer  provided  with  funds  and  the  work  of 
"  restoration "  completed,  Parliament  dissolved,  Lan 
caster  had  achieved  his  objects,  but  at  a  great  cost. 
He  was  involved  in  a  bitter  quarrel  with  the  City  and 
the  Church 

Since  the  not  the  citizens  had  lived  in  a  state  of  painful 
expectancy  It  must  have  been  something  of  a  relief 
when  a  royal  mandate  arrived,  summoning  the  Mayor, 
Sheriffs  and  Aldermen  to  the  King's  presence  at  Sheen x 
At  least  they  would  soon  know  the  worst  King  Edward 
had  only  a  few  weeks  to  live,  and  when  they  arrived  they 
found  him  propped  up  in  his  chair,  and  scarcely  able  to 
speak.  In  his  name  Sir  Robert  Aston,  the  loyal  chamber 
lain,  addressed  them 

They  must  know  the  cause  of  their  summons  Insults 
had  been  heaped  upon  the  Duke  of  Lancaster.  The  Duke 
was  the  King's  son ,  more,  he  was  the  King's  repre 
sentative.  Therefore  an  insult  to  the  Duke  was  an  insult 

1  Chrt  AngL  131-4. 


to  the  King  himself  The  citizens  would  be  well  advised 
to  submit  themselves  without  more  ado  to  the  Duke's 

This  proposal  did  not  commend  itself  to  the  officials  of 
the  city.  In  reply  they  could  only  protest  their  entire 
innocence  of  the  events  of  the  20th  ,  for  the  disorders, 
which  they  lamented,  they  were  in  no  way  responsible 
On  the  contraiy,  they  were  ready  to  do  anything  in  their 
power  to  compel  restitution 

No  one,  of  course,  supposed  that  the  Mayor  had  thrown 
stones  at  the  Savoy,  or  that  the  Sheriffs  had  with  their 
own  hands  posted  up  lampoons  about  the  streets  of  the 
city  The  fact  remained  that  these  disorders  had  been 
committed  within  their  jurisdiction,  and  that  they  had 
done  nothing  to  stop  them,  and  to  protest  inability  to 
maintain  order  was  unfortunate  at  the  very  moment 
when  the  continuance  of  civic  jurisdiction  was  one  of  the 
points  about  which  they  had  shown  such  concern 

To  prove  their  sincerity,  however,  the  citizens  deter 
mined  to  make  some  demonstration ;  though  the  form 
which  this  took  was  peculiarly  ill-advised  If,  as  is  stated, 
the  suggestion  came  from  the  King's  advisers,  it  seems 
almost  as  though  some  mischief-maker  had  deliberately 
chosen  a  measure  calculated  to  embitter  the  quarrel. 

A  candle  was  procured,  bearing  Lancaster's  arms, 
and  the  city  magnates  forming  themselves  into  procession, 
which  the  common  people,  in  spite  of  the  crier's  procla 
mation,  refused  to  follow,  solemnly  bore  their  peace- 
offering  to  St  Paul's,  where  they  deposited  it  before  the 
altar  of  the  Virgin 

J;,  A  ceremony  performed  m  memory  of  the  dead  inevitably 
suggested  the  wish  that  the  Duke  might  shortly  be  in  a 
position  to  require  that  honour,  and  to  subtle  minds 
conveyed  a  hint  of  his  political  annihilation  ! 

The  City  was  disappointed.  The  procession  had 
proved  a  failure,  and  the  penance  was  performed  by  the 



civic  dignitaries  alone      The  Duke  was  not  conciliated  ; 
he  chose  to  regard  the  whole  effort  as  a  deliberate  insult 
No  one  had  been  brought  to  book  for  the  disorders  of 
the  not ,  there  was  no  intention  of  so  doing     The  parties 
to  the  quarrel  remained  exasperated. 

Nothing  would  satisfy  the  Duke,  said  the  citizens, 
short  of  making  him  King  I 

All  this  is  petty  enough,  but  the  quarrel  with  the 
Church  leads  us  to  larger  issues. 

In  the  fight  with  the  Bishops  Lancaster  and  Wychffe 
had  stood  side  by  side  "What  was  the  true  relation  be 
tween  them,  and  what  was  the  Duke's  real  attitude  to 
the  Church  ? 


Chapter  VIII 


IN  the  latter  half  of  the  fourteenth  century  the  condition 
of  the  Church  was  such  as  to  inspire  thoughtful  men 
with  feelings  almost  amounting  to  despair  From  head 
to  foot  the  body  of  the  Church  seemed  smitten  with 
disease,  and  there  were  no  signs  of  a  healthy  and  vigorous 
life  in  any  member  Papacy,  secular  clergy,  and  "  re 
ligious  " — all  were  alike  discredited 

When  in  1305  the  head  of  Catholic  Chustendom  re 
moved  his  court  from  Rome  to  Avignon,  deserting  the 
Eternal  City  for  a  town  on  the  borders  of  France,  that 
"  sinful  city  of  Avignon,"  as  the  English  Commons  called 
it,  something  more  than  mere  dignity  was  lost,  something 
more  than  the  prestige  of  immemorial  tradition  Inno 
cent  III  had  aspired  to  universal  dictatorship,  to  the 
arbitrament  of  the  affairs  of  Christian  Europe  ;  with 
Urban  V  and  Gregory  XI  the  interests  of  the  Papacy 
during  the  war  are  no  longer  Catholic ,  they  are 
parochial.  The  universal  arbiter  has  become  the 
political  partisan.  In  1377  the  Papacy  was  already 
standing  on  the  verge  of  the  abyss,  for  no  sooner 
is  the  "  Babylonish  captivity "  over  than  the  Great 
Schism  begins  To  the  political  quarrels  of  Europe, 
which  they  are  powerless  to  prevent  or  to  compose,  the 
Popes  add  an  ecclesiastical  quarrel,  The  seamless  robe 
is  rent,  and  Christian  Europe  is  divided  into  two  hostile 
camps.  The  infidel  is  pressing  on  their  frontiers,  but 
Christian  princes  waste  their  strength  on  internecine 



struggles ,  while  French  and  English,  Castilian  and 
Portuguese  struggle  one  with  the  other,  and  Urbamst 
and  Clementist  spill  Christian  blood,  the  Crescent 
triumphs  over  the  Cross,  and  Bajazet  crushes  a  crusading 
army  under  the  walls  of  Nicopohs. 

But  while  the  Papacy  abated  nothing  oi  its  preten 
sions,  in  the  unhealthy  moral  atmosphere  of  the  day  it 
had  caught  the  infection  of  that  "  covetise  "  which,  as 
Chaucer  in  a  serious  moment  tells  us,  was  the  predomi 
nant  vice  of  the  age , l  the  spirit  of  Lady  Meed  of  the 
Vision  of  Piers  Ploughman  corrupting  all  classes  of 
society  This  indeed  was  nothing  new  Had  not  Dante a 
at  the  beginning  of  the  century  written  of  the  Popes — 

La  vostra  avanzia  il  moudo  attnsta, 
Calcando  i  buom  e  sollevando  i  pravi 
Di  voi  pastor  s'  accorse  il  Vangehsta, 
Quando  colei,  che  siede  sopra  1'acque, 
Puttaneggiar  coi  regi  a  lui  fu  vista 

Fatto  v'avete  Dio  d'  oro  e  d'  argento 

E  che  altro  d  da  vox  all'  idolatre, 

Se  non  ch*  egh  uno,  e  voi  n'  orate  cento  ? 
Ahi,  Constantm,  di  quanto  mal  fu  matre, 

Non  la  tua  conversion,  ma  quella  dote 

Che  da  te  prese  il  pnmo  ncco  patre  ! 

Fifty  years  later  Boccaccio,  in  the  frivolous  setting  of 
the  Decameron,3  has  the  story,  profoundly  significant  in 
spite  of  its  cynicism,  of  Abraham  the  Jew,  who,  pressed 
by  a  proselytising  Christian  friend,  goes  to  Rome,  sees 
the  spectacle  of  the  Papal  Court,  and  in  spite  of  this 
revelation,  demands  baptism,  convinced  that  a  Church 

1  Alias,  alias  1   now  may  men  wepe  and  crye  1 
For  in  our  dayes  ms  but  covetyse 

And  doublenesse,  and  tresoun  and  envye, 
Poysoun,  manslauhtre,  and  mordre  in  sondry  wyse 
(Chaucer,  The  Former  Age,  61-4) 

2  Inferno,  xix  104-119- 

3  Decameron,  Giornata  Prima  ,  Novella  II 



which  could  survive  in  spite  of  such  depravity  must  be 
built  upon  the  rock,  and  can  indeed  claim  a  divine 

The  facts  of  the  chronicler  are  stranger  than  the 
fictions  of  the  novelist  Adam  of  Usk,  a  prosaic  lawyer, 
who  had  no  love  for  Lollards  or  doctrinal  reform,  echoes 
the  same  cry  :  "  Romae  omma  venalia  " 

Adam,  who,  like  Abraham  the  Jew,  himself  went  to 
Rome,  says  "  There  everything  was  bought  and  sold, 
so  that  benefices  were  given  not  for  desert,  but  to  the 
highest  bidder.  Whence,  every  man  who  had  wealth 
and  was  greedy  for  empty  glory,  kept  his  money  m  the 
merchants'  bank  to  further  his  advancement  And 
therefore,  as,  when  under  the  old  testament  the  priest 
hood  were  corrupted  with  venality,  the  three  miracles 
ceased,  namely  the  unquenchable  fire  of  the  priesthood, 
sweet  smell  of  sacrifice  which  offendeth  not,  and  the 
smoke  which  ever  riseth  up,  so  I  fear  will  it  come  to 
pass  under  the  new  testament.  And  methmks  the 
danger  standeth  daily  knocking  at  the  very  doors  of  the 
Church  " 1 — words  which  most  strangely  anticipate  the 
warning  of  the  later  reformation — 

That  two-handed  engine  at  the   door 

Stands  ready  to  smite  once,  and  smite  no  more 

If  things  were  bad  at  the  metropolis  of  Christendom, 
they  were  little  better  in  the  outlying  provinces  of  the 

In  England  two  abuses  in  particular  called  aloud  for 
remedy — plurality  and  non-residence.  William  of  Wyke- 
ham,  who  in  1362,  even  before  he  was  ordained  priest, 
held  a  deanery  of  St  Paul's  and  of  Hereford  as  well  as 
twelve  other  prebends,  was  only  an  example,  if  an  ex 
treme  example,  of  the  prevailing  system  which  Wycliffe 
denounced  He  was  only  one  offender  out  of  many,  and 

1  Adam  of  Usk,  p,  201 


his  practice  was  the  rule  not  the  exception.  To  the 
prejudice  alike  of  principle,  of  ecclesiastical  discipline, 
and  of  learning,  the  Church  was  invaded  by  an  army  of 
men,  who,  so  far  from  devoting  their  lives  to  their  pro 
fession — it  would  be  absurd  to  say  their  "  calling  " — 
had  no  intention  of  giving  any  portion  of  their  time  to 
the  duties  of  the  priesthood  Orders  formed  the  neces 
sary  preliminary  to  a  civil  career  ;  the  reward  of  clerical 
labour,  whether  in  departments  of  government,  the 
household  of  the  King,  or  that  of  some  great  feudatory, 
was,  according  to  the  dignity  of  the  service,  a  bishopric, 
prebend,  canonry,  or  living — more  often  a  number  of 
benefices  held  concurrently  The  result  was  inevitable  : 
on  the  one  hand,  a  body  of  ecclesiastics,  differing  in 
rank  but  agreeing  in  their  interests,  those  of  a  secular 
ambition,  from  the  Bishop  who  presided  over  the  Chan 
cery  or  Treasury,  down  to  the  absentee  clerk  who  held 
a  single  benefice ,  on  the  other  hand,  a  laity  alienated 
from  the  secular  clergy,  consisting  of  the  rich  who  looked 
to  others — the  monk  or  the  mendicant — to  satisfy  their 
spiritual  needs,  and  of  the  poor  whose  spiritual  condition 
was  too  often  one  of  entire  neglect.  The  duties  of  the 
parish  priest  were  left  to  a  substitute :  a  "  curate," 
ignorant,  poor,  often  the  father  of  a  family  which  canon 
law  refused  to  recognize,  struggling  for  existence  in  com 
petition  with  the  friar,  who  deprived  him  of  the  profits 
of  the  confessional,  and  the  chantry  priest,  if  possible 
more  ignorant  than  himself,  who  absorbed  the  offerings 
wrung  from  the  rich  by  family  sentiment  and  superstition.1 

Such  is  the  picture  of  the  secular  clergy  of  England, 
painted  by  contemporary  hands  If  some  portions  of 
the  canvas  are  overcoloured,  there  can  be  little  doubt 
that  the  general  impression  is  faithful  to  fact. 

Against  the  regular  clergy,  the  "  religious/1  the  charges 

1  See  the  valuable  introduction  to  vol  li.  of  the  Monumenta 
Franciscana  (Rolls  Series) 


are  different  The  chief  sins  of  the  monks  are  those  of 
omission  Such  services  as  the  monastic  system  had 
been  able  to  render  to  the  cause  of  learning  and  civilization 
belong  to  the  dark  ages  of  ignorance  and  insecurity  long 
since  past  In  this  age  the  monks  stood  condemned 
because,  in  spite  of  their  enormous  wealth  and  ample 
opportunity,  they  were  doing  little  or  nothing  for  So 
ciety  Doubtless  in  some  places  the  standard  of  conduct 
was  not  what  might  have  been  expected  of  monastic  pro 
fession,  but  on  the  whole  the  complaints  made  against 
the  monks  by  the  men  of  their  day  are  not  so  much  those 
of  ill-living  as  of  idleness  and  luxury.  With  their  wealth 
and  power  their  pretensions  had  grown  and  their  sense 
of  responsibility  had  diminished.  The  wealthiest  class 
of  the  community  was  aiming  at  exemption  from  the 
burdens  of  national  life  ;  privilege  had  taken  the  place 
of  duty. 

Side  by  side  with  the  secular  clergy  and  the  monks, 
stands  the  third  great  division  of  the  forces  of  the  Church 
militant,  the  mendicant  orders,  organized  in  four  great 
battalions — Franciscans,  Dominicans,  Augustmians,  and 

It  was  a  true  instinct  which  caused  Innocent  III  to 
hesitate  before  sanctioning  the  scheme  laid  before  him  by 
the  saintly  enthusiasm  of  Francis  of  Assisi ;  for  the  religion 
of  St.  Francis  was  in  its  essence  spiritual,  and  therefore, 
had  it  been  able  to  preserve  the  purity  of  its  founder,  de 
stined  to  prove  a  solvent  of  the  papal  system ,  and,  on  the 
other  hand,  the  mendicant  organization  was  incompatible 
with  the  existing  machinery  of  the  Church.  But  the 
doubts  of  the  thirteenth  century  had  been  long  since  laid 
to  rest ,  first  one  then  another  mendicant  order  had  come 
into  existence,  to  become  a  devoted  militia  of  the  Pope, 
to  challenge  the  spiritual  monopoly  of  seculars  and  monks 
and  to  earn  the  hatred  of  both.  In  England  for  more 
than  a  century  the  friars  had  secured  an  established 



position ,  they  had  won  their  battle  against  episcopal 
control,  and  were  emancipated  from  the  diocesan  system. 
They  had  their  own  independent  organization,  a  hierarchy 
consisting  of  wardens  or  superiors,  and  Provincial,  the 
Provincial  responsible  to  the  Minister  General  at  the 
Papal  Court,  the  Minister  General  responsible  directly  to 
the  Pope. 

Like  the  monks,  the  fnars  had  forgotten  the  early 
strictness  of  their  rule  ,  a  legal  fiction  which  vested  their 
property  in  the  Pope  evaded  the  literal  interpretation  of 
the  vow  of  poverty,  and  the  principle  of  "  accommodation" 
disposed  of  the  duty  of  manual  labour.  But  in  spite  of 
shortcomings  which  poet  and  satirist  are  never  tired 
of  denouncing,  the  friars  prospered  It  was  in  vain 
that  FitzRalf,  Archbishop  of  Armagh,  had  fought 
his  campaign  against  mendicancy  and  had  been  himself 
to  Avignon  to  denounce  the  corruption  of  the  orders. 
The  fnars,  who  had  once  seemed  superfluous,  were  now 
indispensable  The  Pope  could  not  spare  them  The 
laity  were  in  their  power,  for  they  had  wrested  from 
seculars  and  monks  the  weapon  of  the  confessional 
Two-thirds  of  the  laity  of  England  confessed  to  them 
and  received  absolution  at  their  hands.1 

The  vices  of  all  orders  of  ecclesiastical  society  did  not 
pass  without  criticism 

Chaucer,  the  genial  man  of  the  world,  laughs  at 
them ,  Langland,  the  brooding  mystic  of  the  Mal- 
vern  hills,  weeps  over  them ,  Gower,  the  sententious 
moralist,  lashes  them — and  every  one  else  who  comes 
within  reach  of  his  arm  The  age  condemned  them , 
the  age  found  a  voice  in  one  man — John  Wy cliff e.  This 

1  "Tertio  quoque  nobis  unponunt  quod  major  pars  dominorum 
et  popuk,  sicut  nobis  praecipue  conntentur,  ita  et  nostro,  ut 
fingunt  consiho  in  agendis  potissime  regulantur,"    Letter  of  the 
four  claustral  orders   to  John,  Duke  of  Lancaster     Fasc    Ziz 
P  294 



is  not  the  place  to  tell  the  story  of  Wycliffe's  life,  or 
to  trace  the  development  of  his  thought,  the  growth  of 
his  system     It  is  necessary  only  to  indicate  the  point  at 
which  the  lines  followed  by  the  great  reformer  and  his 
patron  intersect,  to  show  how  sharply  they  diverge  and 
to  what  different  poles  of  thought  they  point     Suffice  it 
to  say  that  Wychffe,  like  Luther,  offended  by  practical 
abuses,  was  led  by  intense  moral  conviction  and  by  the 
positive    and   rationalistic    bent    of  his   mind  first  to 
challenge   the    existing   administrative   organization  of 
the    Church,  and  finally  to   question  its  fundamental 
doctrines  ;  first  to  assail  the  outworks  of  the  ecclesiastical 
camp,  and  finally  to  lay  siege  to  the  very  citadel  of  the 
Catholic  faith     Wychffe  condemned  the  Papal  system, 
with  its  exactions  and  "  provisions,'*  its  weapons  of  ex 
communication  and  interdict ,  he  condemned  the  monastic 
system  and  the  mendicant  system,  and  contrasted  the 
wealth  and  luxury,  the  secular  ambition  and  temporal 
power  of  the  clergy  with  the  apostolic  purity  of  the  early 
Church.  But  while  his  doctrinal  doubts  and  beliefs  belong 
to  the  history  of  thought  and  the  history  of  the  Church, 
there  is  one  belief  that  now  claims  examination,  the 
belief  that  in  John  Plantagenet  he  had  found  the  chosen 
minister  to  reform  the  abuses  of  the  age,  and  to  set  right 
a  time  out  of  ]oint. 

How  little  justification  there  was  for  such  a  belief,  how 
far  John  of  Gaunt  was  from  the  position  of  an  ecclesiasti 
cal  reformer,  how  scant  his  sympathy  with  the  ideals 
and  theories  of  Wychffe,  will  appear  from  a  brief  review 
of  the  circumstances  which  throw  a  light  on  his  dealings 
with  the  Church  and  the  ecclesiastical  problems  of  his  day. 

What  was  the  Duke's  attitude  to  the  regular  clergy, 
the  monks  and  the  friars  ^  To  judge  by  the  rumours 
afloat  in  1378,  or  from  the  impression  created  by 
the  sensational  author  of  the  Chromcon  Anghae,  it 
might  be  thought  that  the  monks  regarded  John 



of  Gaunt  as  their  peculiar  enemy,  the  sworn  foe  of 
the  monastic  system  and  of  ecclesiastical  property  The 
credulous  reader  of  the  Monk  of  St  Albans  will  conjure 
up  the  vision  of  some  Abbot  or  Prior,  meeting  the  caval 
cade  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  on  the  King's  highways, 
crossing  himself  with  horror  at  the  sight  of  the  Church's 
arch-enemy,  and,  with  a  muttered  prayer  to  his  patron 
saint,  turning  his  bridle  for  the  nearest  way  of  escape 
Such  is  the  fiction ;  the  fact  is  otherwise  The  Abbot, 
let  us  suppose,  was  a  mitred  abbot  among  the  number  of 
those  who  sat  in  Parliament  and  knew  the  Duke  at  West 
minster.  If  so,  he  would  know  him  as  a  man  always 
ready  to  use  his  influence  with  the  King  or  the  Pope  on 
behalf  of  a  monastic  foundation  It  is  more  than  likely 
that  he  would  also  know  him  as  a  host,  for  abbot 
and  bishop  ]ostled  knight  and  baron  in  the  castle  halls 
of  Leicester  and  Kemlworth  whenever  the  Duke  had  a 
party  to  hunt  in  the  Lancastrian  forests  So  far  from 
appearing  as  an  enemy  of  the  regular  clergy,  or  a  "  sus 
pect  "  person  in  their  eyes,  the  Duke  is  on  the  best  of 
terms  with  them,  He  is  an  indulgent  landlord  ,  he  visits 
their  houses  constantly  in  his  endless  ]ourneyings  to  and 
fro  in  England,1  and  the  visit  is  usually  remembered  by 
the  monks  with  satisfaction,  for  by  Papal  indulgence 
religious  persons  may  eat  meat  in  his  presence,2  and  he 
leaves  behind  him  some  mark  of  favour,  a  remission  of 
rent  or  grant  of  lands  or  privilege  3  Licences  for  aliena 
tion  in  mortmain  the  Duke,  like  other  lay  tenants,  scatters 

1  John  of  Gaunt  certainly  availed  himself  of  the  "  indult  to 
enter  any  monasteries  of  religious  men  and  women  once  a  year 
with  thirty  persons  of  good  repute  "  (a  wise  qualification)  Papal 
Letters,  iv,  167. 

3  John,  Duke  of  Lancaster,  and  Blanche,  his  wife  That  re 
ligious  persons  may  eat  meat  in  their  house  or  presence,  Petitions 
to  the  Pope,  i.  422. 

3  E  g  The  Abbey  of  Cnstall,  i  e.  KirkstaU,  Hist  MSS  8th 
Report  App  p.  413,  and  Register  passim, 



with  a  lavish  hand ; 1  he  is  constantly  backing  the 
petition  of  Abbots  and  Convents  to  the  Papal  court,2 

The  man  whom  Wycliffe  in  1376  thought  to  be  sin 
cerely  opposed  to  the  undue  wealth  of  the  religious  orders, 
whom  the  country  in  1378  believed  to  be  plotting  a 
wholesale  expropriation  of  Church  property,  is  the  patron 
of  more  than  a  score  of  abbeys.  He  is  constantly  giving 
gifts,  not  only  the  small  marks  of  favour  like  timber 
and  venison  from  his  forests,  but  gifts  of  land,  solid 
endowments,  manors,  and  the  advowsons  of  churches 
and  chapels  He  protects  the  clergy  from  the  rapacity 
of  the  King's  officers  and  from  oppression  by  his  own 
purveyors  3  He  acts  as  their  champion  in  difficulties 
and  as  arbiter  in  their  disputes.* 

Something  of  course  must  be  allowed  for  the  Lan 
castrian  tradition.  The  heir  of  Duke  Henry  could 
scarcely  abandon  foundations  like  Leicester,  and  the 
great  monasteries  of  Furness  and  Whalley  looked  to  the 
Duke  of  Lancaster  as  their  natural  protector.  But  the 
Duke  showed  no  inclination  to  break  with  the  Lancastrian 
tradition,  and  Duke  John  in  continuing  the  Hospital 
and  Collegiate  Church  at  Leicester 5  continued  Duke 
Henry's  policy,  and  besides  those  anciently  associated 

1  Register  I  f  31-6,  etc 

3  E  g  The  Duke  supports  the1  petition  of  the  Benedictine 
Priory  of  St  Faiths,  Norfolk,  cell  to  the  Abbey  of  Couches  to  be 
considered  an  English  and  not  an  alien  Priory  (Rot  Pat  17  Dec  , 
1390),  he  is  the  patron  of  the  Austin  Priory  of  St  Mary's  Norton 
and  of  the  Cistercian  Abbey  of  St  Mary's,  Kirkstall,  and  supports 
their  petition  to  the  Pope  (Papal  Letters,  iv  405 ,  and  v  16), 
he  is  the  present  founder  of  Biddlesdon  Abbey  (Brit.  Mus  HavL 
Ch  84.  c.  17  )  and  supports  their  petition  and  that  of  the  Bene 
dictine  Abbey  of  St  Peter's,  Gloucester  (Papal  Letters,  v  598,  cf 

3  Reg  II  f   137 

*  E  g   St,  Frideswyde's,  Oxford      Rot  Pat  July  22,  1377 
6  Lancaster  gave  the  Dean  and  Chapter  of  the  New  Church  at 

Leicester  100  marcs  a  year     For  marks  of  his  favour  to  Leicester 

see  Register  passim. 



with  the  Lancastrian  name,  a  score  of  foundations, 
Cistercian  and  Benedictine  alike,  scattered  over  all 
England  enrolled  Duke  John  among  their  patrons 

As  the  birthplace   of  the  Scandalous  Chromcle,  St 
Albans  has  a  peculiar  interest  for  the  history  of  John  of 
Gaunt     His  relations  to  this  great  Abbey  may  be  taken 
as  a  typical  example  of  his  real  attitude  to  the  monks 

Thomas  de  la  Mare,  perhaps  a  kinsman  of  the  hero  of 
the  "Good"  Parliament,  thirtieth  Abbot,  reigned  there 
from  1349  to  hls  death  m  1396 — a  reign  of  terror  to 
erring  brethren,  for  the  Abbot,  equally  renowned  for 
his  flagellations,  his  bad  handwriting,  and  his  hatred  of 
sport,  was  as  merciless  to  his  flock  as  to  himself  Next 
after  hunting,  the  Abbot,  who  had  supported  FitzRalf 
in  the  anti-mendicant  crusade,  hated  Lollard  and  friar 
with  an  equally  unmeasured  hatred.  The  Duke  loved 
sport,  protected  Wycliffe,  and  was  the  firm  friend  of  the 
friars  But  this  difference  of  taste  did  not  prevent  friendly 
relations  An  early  case  of  disputed  ]urisdiction,  in 
which  the  Duke  had  shown  a  very  conciliatory  attitude, 
was  terminated  in  favour  of  the  Abbey,1  and  in  more  than 
one  legal  difficulty  the  Abbey  chose  John  of  Gaunt  as 
arbitrator  2 

When  the  Abbot  petitioned  the  Pope  for  remission  of 
the  yearly  payment  and  dispensation  from  the  duty  of 
personal  attendance  at  the  Curia,  Lancaster  used  his 
influence  in  favour  of  the  request,  and  gave  testimony 
to  the  sanctity  of  the  brotherhood.3 

1  The  dispute  turned  on  the  question  whether  the  Abbot,  m 
virtue  of  his  tenure  of  the  Manor  of  Norton  near  Boroughbndge, 
owed  suit  to  the  Duke's  Court  of  Frendles  Wapentake 

The  Duke's  officers,  for  the  Honor  of  Richmond,  had  amerced 
and  distrained  on  the  Abbot  for  refusal,  but  an  Inquisition  held 
with  the  Duke's  assent  found  in  favour  of  the  Abbot  (42  Edw  III) 
Gesta  Abbatum  Sancti  Albam,  m.  97, 

2  Ibid  111  241-6 

3  The  Duke  writes      "  Ego  qui  honorem  et  bonum  statum 
dictorum  monasteni  Abbatis  et  conventus  ob  dicti  Sancti 



One  of  the  burning  questions  of  monastic  politics, 
one  on  which  the  Abbot  Thomas  held  strong  views, 
was  the  relation  between  the  Abbey  of  Saint  Albans 
and  the  Priory  of  Christ  Church,  Canterbury  The 
Prior  claimed  exemption  from  the  duty  of  sending 
proctors  to  the  Chapter  of  the  Benedictine  Order,  on 
the  ground  of  Papal  indulgence.  St.  Albans  had  never 
admitted  this  claim,  or  succeeded  in  enforcing  its 
own.  The  Abbot  Thomas,  being  a  man  of  energy  and 
nothing  if  not  a  disciplinarian,  insisted  In  1376  a 
formal  summons  to  the  Capitular  meeting  reached  Can 
terbury  The  Prior  showed  his  independence  by  beating 
the  Abbot's  envoys  and  then  locking  them  up  As  it 
happened,  the  Black  Prince  was  in  Canterbury  at  the 
time,  and  heard  of  the  indignity  The  result  was  a 
reprimand  to  the  Prior  for  this  open  affront  to  the  head 
of  the  order.  The  Pnor,  finding  court  influence  against 
him,  hastened  to  agree  with  his  adversary  by  the  way, 
and  sent  his  proctor  to  the  Chapter,  but  as  "the  Abbot 
was  not  likely  to  forgive  or  forget,  he  went  further,  and 
tried  to  enlist  sympathy  at  Court  also.  He  appealed  to 
John  of  Gaunt,  who  went  to  St  Albans,  interceded  for 
the  offending  Pnor,  made  peace  between  these  angry  sons 
of  the  Church,  won  the  gratitude  of  the  Prior  and  the 
friendship  of  the  Abbot,  and  was  received  into  the 
brotherhood  of  the  Benedictine  Order.1 

Four  years  later  we  find  the  Duke  backing  a  petition 
from  the  Abbey  to  the  King  for  commutation  of  the  fine 
levied  on  "  vacation  "  for  a  yearly  payment,2  and  eleven 
years  later  still  it  is  the  Duke  who,  acting  out  of  "love 
and  chanty  to  the  Abbey,"  satisfies  the  King  in  his 

revqrentiam  et  honorem  et  elegentiam  mentorum  et  vitae  mona- 
chorum  imbi  degentmm  non  inmento  desidero  augen  " 
Gesta  Abbatum  Sc.  Albam 

1  " Cum  summa  devohone"    Ibid  11  403 

3  Ibid  iii  135-137), 



extortionate  demands  for  a  forced  loan  from  St.  Albans l 
Friendly  relations  were  not  broken  by  the  hostile 
attitude  of  the  Abbot  to  the  Duke's  crusade  in  1386  ; 
the  Abbot,  forcibly  as  usual,  expressed  his  opinion  of  the 
sale  of  papal  chaplaincies,  but  the  Abbey  still  regarded 
John  of  Gaunt  as  a  friend  and  patron.  In  the  official 
list  of  benefactors  the  Duke's  picture  is  still  to  be  found. 
In  the  margin  above  a  miniature  of  the  Duchess  Con 
stance  is  a  miniature  of  the  Duke ,  in  the  text  a  grateful 
acknowledgment  of  his  gifts  to  the  foundation — in  par 
ticular  a  gift  of  one  hundred  pounds  towards  the  restora 
tion  of  the  gate  at  Tynemouth  Priory—and  this  sen 
tence  :  "  This  prince  had  an  extreme  love  and  affection 
for  our  monastery  and  Abbot ,  many  a  time  he  gave  us 
gifts  of  wine ,  he  promoted  our  interests  and  greatly 
enriched  the  Church  with  his  magnificent  and  oft-repeated 
oblations,"  2 

The  Abbot  Thomas  died  in  September,  1396,  and  Lan 
caster  was  among  those  who  came  to  visit  him  in  his 
sickness  and  to  ask  for  his  blessing  and  his  prayers  3 

So  much  for  Lancaster's  hostility  to  the  monks  and  the 
monastic  system  But  it  was  upon  the  other  great  body 
of  the  regular  clergy  that  the  Duke  bestowed  his  favour 
preeminently  To  the  friars  he  entrusts  his  soul  while 
he  lives  and  his  body  when  he  dies  Fnars  Preachers, 
Friars  Minors,  Austins,  and  Carmelites — to  all  his  patron 
age  extends,  but  it  is  the  Carmelites  which  he  singles  out 
for  especial  favour.*  One  after  another  his  confessors 

1  Wals   11   403      Cf   Gest   Abb.  Sc  Alb    m   363       Rot  Pat, 
23  Feb    1390, 

2  Liber  de  Benefactonbus  Monasteru  Sancti  Albam,    Ann 
RIG  II  p.  434-5,  and  British  Museum  MS,  Cotton  Nero  D*  vu 
Wals  11  403 

3  Gesta  Abbatum  Sc,  Albam,  ui  412 

4  Among  the  Fnars  mentioned  in  the  Register  as  recipients*of 
presents,  etc.,  are  the  Carmelites  of  Nottingham,  of  Sandwich, 
of  Doncaster,  and  of  London ;  the  Minors  of  Richmond  and  of 



are  chosen  from  that  order,  William  de  Reynham,  John 
Badby,  Walter  Dysse,  and  John  Cunmgham  The  last 
was  a  man  of  some  importance,  for  he  was  twenty-first 
Provincial  of  the  English  Carmelites  But  long  before 
Cunmgham  had  become  the  Duke's  confessor,  and  had 
repented  of  that  uncourtly  reference  to  the  House  of 
Herod1 — made  in  the  days  when  he  did  not,  and 
Wychffe  did,  enjoy  the  Duke's  favour — Lancaster  had 
a  powerful  body  of  supporters  in  the  order  The  results 
of  a  lavish  generosity  and  unmistakable  preference  of 
the  Carmelite  order2  had  been  to  place  at  the  Duke's 

York,  the  Preachers  of  Pontefract  and  of  Derby,  the  proctors  of 
the  Hospital  of  "Our  Lady  of  Runcyvale,"  etc  See  also  Ap 
pendix  I  p  424-5,  and  Appendix  IV  p  449 

Wilham  de  Reynham,  Carmelite  and  Master  in  Theology, 
was  his  confessor  in  1366  (Lancaster  petitions  for  plenary  absolu 
tion  for  him  and  for  three  of  his  relations  Petitions  to  the  Pope, 
i  528-9) 

John  Badby,  another  confessor,  received  an  annuity  of  ^10  in 
1372  (Register  I  f  73  ,  169) 

Walter  Dysse,  Carmelite  and  Doctor  in  Theology,  of  Cambridge, 
was  his  confessor  from  1375  to  1386  (Reg  II  116,  annuity  of 
jfio  ,  present  of  zoos  ,  etc  )  Fasc  Z\z  p  508  and  286 

John  Cuningham  succeeded  Walter  Dysse  He  was  confessor 
at  the  time  of  the  Council  of  Stamford,  1392  Fasc  Ziz  p  3 

1  Nee  Herodis  domus  dux  mihi  est  (Fasc  Ziz  p  14) 

a  Johan,   etc ,   A   touz,   etc ,   Saluz     Come  par  le.  chapitre 

provincial  del  ordre  des  frers  caresmes  d'Engleterre  pleinement 

celebre,z  a  Cauntebrugg  le  jour  de  1'assumpcion  notre  Dame 

darrem  passe  nous  fumes  devoutement  et  humblement  supphez 

par  lettres  des  ditz  provinciale  et  chapitre  d'estre  foundour  del 

meson  et  covent  des  fErers  caresmes  de  Doncastre  et  de  accepter 

en  noz  mams  la  fundacion  del  dite  meson  de  Doncastre  en  eide 

et  socour  del  dite  meson  et  covent  en  temps  avenir  a  cause 

depuis  que  leurs   especiales  foundres  del  dite  meson  ove  suc- 

cessours    liruales    sont    a   dieux    comandez       Sachez   nous   al 

honure  de  Dieu  et  notre  Dame  et  de-  Seinte  Religion  et  mes- 

ment  pour  la  grande  especiale  affection  quele  nous  portons  au 

dit  ordre  et  ensement  al  humble  et  devout  request  et  supph- 

cacion  del  dite  chapitre  provinciale  avoir  ottroiez  notre  plein 

assent  et  bone  volentee  d'estre  foundour  de  meisme  la  meson  et 

accepter  en  noz  mains  et  les  mams  de  noz  heirs  successours  de 

la  duchee  de  Lancastre  la  fundacion  del  dite  meson  de  Doncastre 



command  the  services  of  a  powerful  and  highly  dis 
ciplined  army,  invaluable  for  its  effects  on  public 
opinion,  unswerving  in  its  devotion  to  its  greatest  lay 
patron  It  was  the  Carmelites  who  preached  the  Duke's 
crusade  against  Spam  in  1386  When  in  1384,  for 
reasons  which  will  appear  later,  a  Carmelite  Friar  brought 
charges  of  treason  against  the  Duke,  he  was  at  once  dis 
owned  by  the  brotherhood,  and  those  who  would  have 
made  political  capital  out  of  the  man's  arrest  and  death 
were  promptly  suppressed  by  orders  from  headquarters. 

The  friars  had  no  illusions  about  the  Duke's  hetero 
doxy  and  revolutionary  ideas.  They  were  willing  at 
first  to  defend  his  agent  in  an  attack  on  ecclesiastical 
wealth  theoretically  condemned  by  their  own  rules,  and 
later,  when  the  reformer  of  administration  became  the 
heretic,  while  attacking  Wychffe  to  defend  his  patron. 
The  Duke  shared  both  their  friendships  and  their  hatreds. 
He  was  inclined  to  regard  the  Pope  as  an  ally ,  the  friars 
were  the  Pope's  devoted  servants.  He  hated  political 
bishops  ,  the  friars  were  the  enemies  of  the  whole  secular 
clergy  Unlike  the  temporary  alliance  with  Wychffe,  the 
Duke's  connexion  with  the  friars  lasted  to  the  end  of  his 
life  ,  it  was  founded  on  similarity  of  interests,  and  had 
all  the  elements  of  permanence. 

Had  the  Duke  any  sympathy  with  Wychffe's  ideas  of 
administrative  reform  ?  There  should  be  little  doubt  on 
this  point,  for  the  man  who  possessed  the  largest  ecclesi 
astical  patronage  in  England  had  ample  opportunities 
of  doing  something  to  remedy  the  evils  of  plurality  and 

en  mamere  come  appient  a  ffondour  de  tiele  meson  de  reson  et  pat 
ycestes  nous  voulons  et  acceptons  en  noz  mains  et  en  les  mains 
de  noz  heires  et  successours  de  la  duchee  de  Lancastre  la  fundacion 
de  la  dite  meson  et  d'estre  leur  ioundour  en  tout  temps  avemr  en 
eide  et  sustenance  et  promossion  del  dite  meson  ove  1'eide  de 
notre  Seigneur  le  toutpuissant  Dieu. 

En  tessmojgnance,  etc     Donne,  etcM  a  Everwyk  le  xui  jour 
de  Septembre,  Tan     .  ,  etc  ,  sisme     Register  II.  f.  143,  in  tergo. 



non-residence.  What,  however,  is  the  fact  ?  The  Duke 
in  these  matters,  as  m  all  others,  conformed  to  the  prac 
tice  of  his  day,  the  Lancastrian  household,  like  the 
King's  government,  is  supported  by  the  very  abuses 
which  Wycliffe  denounced.  The  diocese  of  Salisbury 
shifted  for  itself  while  its  Bishop,  Ralf  Erghum,  presided 
over  the  Ducal  Chancery,  and  if  William  de  Sutton,  who 
was  the  Chancellor  in  1363,  did  not  hold  a  canonry  and 
prebend  of  Salisbury  concurrently  with  the  Church  of 
Trimrngham  in  Norfolk  by  the  Duke's  presentation  that 
was  not  the  fault  of  his  patron  l  In  1359  the  Duke's 
treasurer,  Walter  de  Campeden,  rector  of  Somercotes, 
gets  a  Canonry  of  York,  with  expectation  of  a  prebend  , 2 
in  1363  the  Duke  does  his  best  to  get  for  another 
treasurer,  John  de  Lincoln 3  (who,  by  the  way,  had  been 
ordained  by  Lancastrian  influence  in  spite  of  the  canonical 
ban  of  illegitimacy),  a  canonry  of  York,  with  expectation 
of  a  prebend,  concurrently  with  the  free  chapel  of  Wykes 
The  Duke  petitions  that  William  de  Horneby  *  his  Receiver 
for  Lancashire,  may  hold  a  Canonry  of  Lincoln,  with 
expectation  of  a  prebend  notwithstanding  that  he  has 
the  church  of  Ribchester  While  John  de  Yerdburgh5  is 

1  Petitions  to  the  Pope>  i  423 
3  Ibid  337, 

3  Petition  of  John,  Duke  of  Lancaster,  etc      on  behalf  of  John 
de  Lincoln,  the  son  of  a  priest,  for  dispensation  to  be  ordained 
and  hold  a  benefice  or  dignity  and  exchange  or  resign  the  same  and 
accept  another,  do,  on  behalf  of  the  same,  who  has  been  ordained 
pnest  and  has  obtained  the  Chapel  of  WykeSj  which  belongs  to 
the  presentation  of  the  said  Duke,  to  retain  the  Chapel  and 
hold  canonry  or  prebend     Ibid  480  and  496. 

4  Ibid,  423 

5  Presentation  of  John  de  Yerdeburgh  to  the  Church  of  Rib 
chester  in  the  archdeaconry  of  Richmond  and  of  John  de  Lin 
coln  to  the  Church  of  Leadenham  m  the  diocese  of  Lincoln  by 
exchange,  18  Dec    1374  ,   ditto  of  John  de  Yerdeburgh  to  the 
Church  of  Stoke  in  the  diocese  of  Lichfield  and  Coventry.  21  Jan, 
1375      Reg  I  f  47 

Similarly  Robert  de   Whitby,   Receiver  General,   is  parson 



cumbered  about  the  furs  and  jewels  and  cloth  of  gold 
and  all  the  precious  things  of  the  great  wardrobe  of  the 
Savoy,  the  churches  of  Ribchester  and  Stoke,  which  he 
held  by  the  Duke's  gift,  were  left  to  the  care  (or  other 
wise)  of  some  poor  curate ,  so  also  is  the  case  with  the 
Church  of  Bradford,  held  by  the  Duke's  gift  by  William 
de  Burghbrigg,1  Receiver  General,  who  lived  m  London, 
and  spent  his  time  in  struggling  with  the  perplexities  of 
mediaeval  arithmetic,  while  the  duke's  auditors  who 
checked  Burghbngg's  figures  and  those  of  all  the  local 
receivers  are,  like  him,  absentee  holders  of  one  or  more 
benefices  For  this  use  of  ecclesiastical  patronage  (the 
instances  are  only  a  few  out  of  many,  taken  at  random 
for  an  example),  the  Duke  seeks  Papal  sanction,  and 
a  benefice  rewards  the  envoy a  who  brings  back  the 
"  bulls  of  grace  "  from  Avignon,  and  a  benefice  pays  the 
labour  of  the  Duke's  secretary  who  wrote  the  petitions 

William  of  Wykeham  himself,  the  arch-pluralist,  was  an 
intimate  of  the  Duke  right  up  to  the  time  of  the  "  Good  " 
Parliament,  and  whatever  cause  may  be  assigned  for 
their  quarrel,  it  was  certainly  no  question  of  principle. 
All  these  facts  were  notorious  ,  they  were  in  no  way 
exceptional  Did  Wychffe  know  the  use  which  Lan 
caster  made  of  ecclesiastical  patronage  ?  And  if  so, 
could  he  distinguish  between  the  case  of  the  man  who 
rose  to  high  ecclesiastical  position  by  keeping  the  Duke's 
furs  and  jewels,  and  the  man  who  rose  to  the  Episcopate 
by  keeping  the  King's  hounds  and  overseeing  his  castles  ? 

The  contrast  between  the  principles  of  the  reformer 
and  the  practice  of  the  patron  is  glaring :  not  that  the 

of   Bassingboura  in  the  diocese  of  Ely      Confirmation  May  3, 
1391,     Rot  Pat 

1  Presentation  of  William  de  Burghbngg  to  the  Church  of 
Bradford  in  the  diocese  of  York,  30  Sept   1375     Reg  I  47     Cf 
Petitions  to  the  Pope,  iv  544 ,  and  Papal  Letters^  iv  502 

2  Petitions  to  the  Pope,  i  337. 



Duke  was  in  any  way  below  the  standard  of  his  age. 
That  is  not  so  He  did  the  same  as  other  lay  patrons, 
only  being  more  important  than  the  rest,  the  result  is 
more  conspicuous. 

Nor  had  Lancaster  any  quarrel  with  the  bishop  or 
parish  priest  as  such,  but,  in  common  with  the  men  of 
his  time,  he  preferred  to  subsidize  the  non-effective 
forces  of  the  Church — hence  his  expenditure  on  chantry 
priests,  and  his  solicitude  for  the  comfort  of  hermit  and 
recluse.  To  the  parish  priest  he  gives  gifts  of  brushwood 
for  fuel  from  his  woods,  conies  from  his  warrens,  and  now 
and  then  a  fat  buck  from  his  parks  He  rebuilds  his 
parsonage,  and  now  and  then,  when  some  sacrilegious 
thief  has  broken  into  a  church  and  stolen  the  altar  furni 
ture,  he  makes  good  the  loss.  He  is  particularly  careful 
of  the  fabric  of  his  churches  and  parsonages,  and  visits 
his  wrath  on  the  incumbents  who  let  them  decay  For 
the  humbler  ranks  at  least  of  the  secular  clergy  he  has 
much  sympathy ;  but  he  is  devoid  of  any  sense  of  the 
abuses  which  are  making  their  position  intolerable,  any 
appreciation  of  the  evils  of  accepted  practice,  which  would 
assuredly  have  been  found  in  one  who  understood  Wy- 
chffe's  aims 

Evidently,  then,  the  point  of  agreement  between 
Wychffe  and  Lancaster  is  not  to  be  found  in  the  desire 
for  administrative  reform. 

Can  it  be  found  in  doctrinal  opinion,  in  religious  thought 
or  practice  ?  Wychffe  thought  that  for  a  penitent  of  "  a 
broken  and  a  contrite  heart "  the  external  act  of  con 
fession  was  superfluous  and  useless  *  Not  so  the  Duke 
of  Lancaster.  To  him  the  act  of  confession  was  one  of 
the  first  of  religious  duties  His  confessors  are  among 
the  most  important  officers  of  the  household  From 
two  successive  popes  he  obtains  permission  to  choose 

1  Kn.  11  158     Haeresis,  5 


them  at  his  pleasure ;  Urban  V  grants  him  licence  to 
change  them  at  will.  That  there  may  be  no  interregnum 
in  the  reign  of  the  spiritual  father  who  grants  absolution 
to  the  Duke  for  his  sins,  he  importunes  the  Pope  to 
grant  licence  that  his  chaplain,  too,  may  listen  to  his 
confessions  and  those  of  his  household,  and  minister  to 
them  the  sacraments,  and  both  for  himself  and  for  his 
intimates  he  craves  plenary  remission  at  the  hour  of 

Wychffe  denied  the  divine  sanction  for  the  institution 
of  the  mass.2  When  foreign  envoys  or  the  King's 
ministers  had  occasion  to  visit  John  of  Gaunt,  they 
could  testify  that  the  celebration  of  mass  was  the  in 
variable  prelude  to  public  business  in  the  Lancastrian 
household.  That  household  breathes  an  atmosphere  of 
conventional  piety.  When  the  Duke  leaves  the  Savoy 
for  Hertford,  Leicester,  or  Pontefract,  a  body  of  chap 
lains,  the  Dean,  and  the  clerks  of  his  chapel  go  with  him 
His  religious  officers  have  a  definite  and  permanent  place 
in  the  household .  their  number  is  considerable ;  among 
them  are  foreigners  as  well  as  Englishmen,  seculars  as 
well  as  friars,  and  one  at  least,  in  spite  of  canon  law  and 
propriety,  is  openly  and  unblushingly  married ! 3 

Again,  when  the  Duke  goes  to  the  wars,  his  chaplains 
go  with  him.  There  is  no  break  in  their  ministrations, 
and  everywhere  they  find  prepared  for  them  in  England, 
or  take  with  them  abroad,  the  rich  and  comely  furniture 
of  the  chapel,  vestments  and  altar  trappings,  missal 
and  chalice.  So  far  as  the  outward  observances  of  re 
ligious  life  go,  the  Lancastrian  household  is  a  model. 
Blanche  the  Duchess  had  perhaps  the  real  piety  of  her 

1  Petitions  to  the  Pope,  i,  337  ;  528-30 ,  422     Cf  401 

3  Kn  11  158,    Haeresis6, 

3  Reg  II  1  40,  42,  S3.  56,  $8,  63,  72,  etc.  John  Crowe,  Clerk 
of  the  Chapel,  and  his  wife  Alexandra  are  both  in  receipt  of  pen 
sions  Reg  II  129,  Ci  Wycliffe's  fourth  heresy.  Kn.  n.  158, 



father  ,  it  is  piety  which  marks  the  contrast  between  the 
Duchess  Constance  and  the  Duchess  of  York  Katharine 
of  Lancaster,  the  Duke's  daughter,  astonishes  the  Cas- 
tilians  by  the  tenacity  of  her  ecclesiastical  principle; 
Philippa  of  Lancaster,  her  half-sister,  is  an  ensample  of 
godly  living,  and  the  Portuguese  chroniclers  remark  her 
assiduous  attention  to  the  duties  of  religion,  her  daily 
care  to  recite  the  offices  after  the  custom  of  Sarum 

Wydiffe  had  denied  the  special  efficacy  of  "  particular 
prayers  "  recited  for  the  benefit  of  one  person  singled  out 
of  the  whole  congregation  of  the  Church 

From  the  date  of  the  death  of  the  Duchess  Blanche, 
throughout  the  Duke's  life  he  pays  two  chaplains  to  sing 
daily  for  her  soul  by  the  altar  and  tomb  in  St  Paul's , 
and  his  last  wishes  are  that  obits  shall  be  celebrated  each 
year  for  his  own  soul  and  for  the  souls  of  Blanche  and 
Constance  on  the  anniversaries  of  the  day  of  their  death  l 
Not  only  for  himself  but  for  others  he  builds  chapels  and 
founds  chantnes , 2  he  pays  for  masses  to  be  sung  for  the 
souls  of  his  brother  Knights  of  the  Garter  at  their  de 
cease  3  To  Wyckffe  it  seemed  that  he  who  offered  money 
for  participation  in  the  benefits  of  the  prayers  of  convent 
or  priory  was  guilty  of  the  sin  of  Simon  Magus,  holding 
such  an  act  to  be  more  truly  simomacal  than  even  the 
purchase  of  benefices  But  Lancaster,  in  accordance 
with  the  conscience  of  his  time,  felt  no  scruple  in  carrying 

*  Appendix  I  pp  423,  429,  435, 

3  Record  Report,  xxxv     App  353,  etc, 

3  Eg  Warrant  to  the  Receiver  General  to  pay  to  Brother 
Walter  Dysse,,  his  confessor,  £4  3$  4$  for  1,000  masses  sung  for 
the  souls  of  Sir  Guichard  Dangle  and  Sir  Thomas  Banastre, 
Knights  of  the  Garter  (dated  Kemlworth,  April  15,  3  Rich  II) ' 
do  to  his  auditors  to  allow  in  the  R  G  *s  account  £4  3$  4^  for 
i  ,000  masses  sung  for  the  souls  of  Ralf,  Earl  of  Stafford,  and 
Humphrey,  Earl  of  Hereford,  K  G  (dated  Savoy,  April  24,  1373) , 
do  to  pay  to  Brother  Walter  Dysse  2,500  pence  for  so  many 
masses  to  be  sung  for  the  souls  of  five  of  the  companions  of  the 
Garter  lately  deceased,  Register,  1. 1  227  and  II.  f  30. 



the  contractual  spirit  of  feudalism  into  the  things  of 
religion.  There  were  a  score  of  heads  of  religious  houses 
who,  like  "John, Abbot  of  Barlings  Abbey, with  the  con 
vent  at  that  place,"  entered  into  a  formal  bond  *  "for  the 
performance  of  divine  service  by  five  canons  of  the  house 
at  the  feast  of  Pentecost  yearly,  for  the  good  estate  of 
John,  King  of  Castile  and  Leon,  and  Duke  of  Lancaster, 
their  great  benefactor,  during  his  life,  and  for  the  per 
formance  of  divine  service  by  four  canons  of  the  house 
for  the  benefit  of  his  soul  on  the  anniversary  of  his 
decease  " 

To  Wychffe,  penetrating  to  the  spiritual  reality  of 
things  which  lay  beneath  and  were  often  concealed  by  the 
external  form  and  ceremony,  excommunication  meant 
the  veritable  severance  of  the  sinner  from  the  body  of 
the  Church,  a  cutting  off  of  the  diseased  branch  from 
the  stem  of  the  True  Vine  in  which  alone  Christian  men 
could  have  true  life  Hence  his  condemnation  of  the  use 
and  abuse  for  personal  or  political  ends  of  the  sentence 
of  excommunication. 

Lancaster  saw  nothing  incongruous  in  the  use  of  the 
power  for  mundane  purposes.  It  was  a  political  fact  of 
the  first  importance ,  sometimes  convenient,  sometimes 
the  reverse  In  1377  he  had  used  it  against  the  tur 
bulent  citizens  of  London ,  in  1386  he  used  it  against  the 
usurper  of  his  kingdom  of  Castile  In  other  words,  excom 
munication  was  a  weapon  to  be  wielded  by  a  complaisant 
prelacy  at  the  request  of  the  temporal  power  for  per 
sonal  or  dynastic  purposes.  It  was  part  of  the  political 
as  well  as  of  the  ecclesiastical  system  ;  a  man  of  the  world 
would  accept  the  fact,  and  a  statesman  would  not  desire 
to  have  it  otherwise. 

Lastly,  we  come  to  the  crowning  act  of  revolt,  the 
fundamental  heresy — the  denial  of  transubstantiation. 
Lancaster,  though  far  from  uncultured,  was  no  scholar, 

1  Dated  April  r,  1386,  Hist,  MSS.  Com,  Ninth  Report,  App. 



and  the  metaphysical  argument  of  the  impossibility  of 
the  existence  of  substance  without  accidents,  upon  which 
Wychffe  based  his  denial  of  the  accepted  Euchanstic 
doctrine3  must  have  sounded  in  his  ears  like  the  raving 
of  a  madman  Any  paltering  with  so  sacred  a  truth 
was  impossible  ;  when  the  enormity  of  this  latest  conclu 
sion  was  put  before  him,  he  bade  Wychffe  be  silent. 

To  sum  up :  John  of  Gaunt  in  no  point  differed  from 
the  average  of  religious  thought  and  practice  of  his  day. 
From  the  days  of  Archbishop  Stratford  onwards  there 
had  always  been  a  party  jealous  of  the  influence  of  an 
episcopal  ministerial  class.  In  1376  events  forced  on  Lan 
caster  the  leadership  of  that  party.  He  had  no  quarrel 
with  the  sceular  clergy  as  such,  apart  from  their  share  in 
political  opposition.  The  parish  priest  found  him  an 
indulgent  landlord ;  the  monastic  orders  a  munificent 
patron ;  to  the  friars  he  was  something  more,  for  their 
leaders  looked  to  him  for  support,  and  their  armies  fought 
his  battles.  From  them  he  chose  friends  and  councillors, 
and  to  every  rank  and  division  of  the  mendicant  army 
he  showed  unstinted  favour. 

He  was  free  on  the  one  hand  from  any  touch  of  the 
rationalism  which  questioned  accepted  doctrine ,  on 
the  other,  from  cynical  indifference  to  religious  duties 
and  observances.  Conventional  in  all  things,  in  none 
was  he  more  conventional  than  m  religious  practice ; 
though  his  piety,  like  that  of  others  then  and  since,  was 
not  inconsistent  with  a  certain  laxity  of  moral  practice, 

The  great  issues  raised  by  Wychff e  he  did  not  under 
stand  ,  could  he  have  done  so,  he  would  have  viewed  the 
whole  scheme  of  Wychffe's  thought  with  horror  The 
early  reformation  was  still-born ;  an  angel  had  troubled 
the  waters,  but  they  were  not  waters  of  healing.  Wyclifie 
came  not  to  bring  peace  but  a  sword.  His  doctrine, 
ecclesiastical  and  civil,  was  a  wild  flight  of  idealism. 
Lancaster  was  no  enthusiast,  but  a  practical  man  of  the 



world  With  Lollard  doctrine  he  had  no  sympathy,  and 
it  does  not  mark  an  inconsistency  in  the  Lancastrian 
tradition  that  Henry  IV  should  place  upon  the  statute 
book  the  Act  "De  heretico  comburendo,"  or  that 
Cardinal  Beaufort  should  help  at  the  Council  of  Con 
stance  to  burn  John  Huss. 

Whether  Wychffe,  led  away  by  enthusiasm  for  reform, 
misunderstood  Lancaster  as  Lancaster  misunderstood  him, 
and  mistook  the  conventional  and  conservative  politician 
for  an  apostle  of  reform,  or  whether,  keenly  observant 
of  the  Duke's  mode  of  life  as  well  as  of  the  signs  of  the 
times,  he  was  astute  enough  to  use  Lancastrian  support 
against  a  worldly  prelacy,  and,  making  friends,  like 
Wykeham,  with  the  mammon  of  unrighteousness,  con 
sented  to  use  for  a  moment  a  power  which  he  knew  could 
not  be  his  for  long — this  depends  upon  an  estimate  of 
the  reformer's  character  which  would  be  out  of  place 

On  the  other  hand,  the  issue  which  concerns  us  at 
present  is  plain. 

The  connexion  of  Lancaster  and  Wycliffe  was  a  politi 
cal  mistake ;  it  alienated  more  support  than  it  gained. 
It  did  not  divide  the  Londoners,  who  continued  to  hate 
Lancaster  more  than  any  man  in  England.  It  infuriated 
the  episcopal  party.  It  was  unnatural  and  perplexing. 

Lollardry  was  from  the  first  a  cross  current  in  politics. 
Corresponding  to  no  existing  division  of  political  thought, 
it  only  made  the  confusion  of  parties  worse  confounded. 
The  short-lived  "  unholy  alliance  "  proved  to  be  not  only 
an  encumbrance  to  the  Duke  himself,  but  an  embarass- 
ment  to  his  friends.  Kmghton,  sharing  the  prejudices 
of  the  rehgiosT  posstsstonati  and  the  benefits  of  Lan 
castrian  bounty,  must  not  allow  himself  to  forget  that 
while  WycMe  is  the  heresiarch,  his  supporter  is  the 
"pious  Duke"  Brother  Stephen  Patrington,  who,  if 
he  did  not  write,  at  least  had  a  hand  in  much  of  the 



Zascwuli  Zizamorum,  while  regarding  the  reformer  as 
the  forerunner  of  anti-Christ,  has  no  scruple  in  declaring 
that  "  illustrious  prince,  gallant  soldier  and  wise  coun 
cillor,  John,  Duke  of  Lancaster,"  to  be  a  faithful  son  of  the 
Church,1  a  [judgment  which  may  conceivably  be  affected 
by  the  fact  that  Brother  Stephen  was  in  receipt  of  a  pen 
sion  from  Wychffe's  patron.3  Brother  Walter  Dysse,  the 
Duke's  confessor,  and  the  Bishop  of  Salisbury,  the  Duke's 
Chancellor,  sign  the  condemnation  of  Wychffe's  heresies  ; 
so  does  John  Cumngham,  who  succeeded  Walter  Dysse, 
and  was  one  of  the  first  "  harvesters  "  who  took  sickle  in 
hand  to  mow  down  Wychffe's  tares.3  The  Friars,  at  first 
the  reformer's  friends  and  afterwards  his  most  inveterate 
enemies,  turn  for  support  to  the  supporter  of  Wyclifie, 
and  regard  the  Duke  as  peculiarly  their  champion.4  The 
alliance  has  all  the  marks  of  a  temporary  and  make-shift 
expedient,  adopted  in  haste,  repented  of  at  leisure 

At  first  a  puzzle  to  friend  and  enemy,  it  became  under 
stood  later,  and  then  those  of  the  Duke's  admirers  who 
wrote  a  record  of  the  events  were  bound  to  use  measured 
language  and  choose  their  words  with  care  Hence  the 
caution  of  the  Canon  of  Leicester  and  the  apparent  con 
tradictions  of  the  Fasciculi. 

In  this  explanation  there  is  nothing  antecedently 
improbable.  Indeed,  it  is  what  might  have  been  ex 
pected  from  the  character  of  the  man.  The  Duke  was  a 
man  of  expedients,  not  of  principles  In  politics  as  in 
warfare  he  was  a  good  tactician,  a  bad  general  He 
could  strike  hard ;  he  could  not  plan ,  he  won  battles, 
and  lost  campaigns  The  advocacy  of  Wycliffe  won  a 
momentary  success  at  immense  cost.  Inter  dm  it  has 

1  Fasc  Ztz  p  114 

*  Confirmation  of  a  grant  of  an  annuity  to  Brother   Stephen 
Patryngton,    Patent  Roll,  22  Rich   II,  Part  2,  Membrane  3 

3  Fasc  Z\z  pp  286  and  357. 

*  Letter  of  the  four  claustral  orders  (per  Patryngtori)  to  the 
Duke,  Fasc,  Z\z.  p  292, 



helped  to  secure  for  John  of  Gaunt  five  centuries  of 
persistent  obloquy 

On  the  other  hand,  the  story  illustrates  one  quality 
of  the  Duke's  nature.  After  1382,  at  any  rate, 
Wycliffe's  position  was  clear.  Even  to  the  least  care 
ful  observer  the  reformer  was  now  a  dangerous  heretic 
whose  mouth  must  be  closed  But  John  of  Gaunt  would 
not  abandon  the  man  who  had  been  led  to  look  to  him 
for  protection  The  Church  was  balked  of  its  prey  It 
touched  the  Duke's  honour  to  protect  John  Wychffe  as 
he  would  have  protected  the  humblest  of  those  two 
hundred  knights  and  esquires  who  had  sworn  to  serve 
him  in  peace  and  war 

Wychffe  was  suffered  to  die  in  peace 



Chapter  IX 


IN  spite  of  optimistic  assurances  in  Parliament  it 
must  have  been  clear  that  at  the  end  of  1376  Edward 
III  had  not  long  to  live.  For  a  few  months  after 
October  7,  when  he  made  his  will,  naming  John  of 
Gaunt  his  chief  executor,1  the  King  lingered  on.  While 
he  lived  there  was  one  influence  and  one  alone 
stronger  than  that  of  the  Duke.  The  King's  son  had  one 
rival,  the  King's  mistress,  for  to  the  end  Alice  Ferrers 
preserved  her  power  over  her  dying  lover  The  fact  was 
recognized  by  all,  including  William  of  Wykeham.  The 
Bishop  was  a  practical  man.  It  was  for  the  interest 
of  the  Church  as  well  as  for  himself  that  he  should  recover 
the  temporalities  of  the  see  The  Bishop  went  to  the 
all-powerful  favourite  and  bought  her  favour.3  In  spite 
of  Lancaster's  protest  the  confiscated  temporalities  were 
restored  That  the  Bishop  should  thus  stoop  to  make 
friends  with  the  mammon  of  unrighteousness  has  shocked 
many  good  people  and  all  good  Wykehamists.  The  fact 
is  scarcely  open  to  doubt,  but  the  judgment  need  not 
be  too  severe.  The  Bishop  was  the  representative  of 
a  cause,  and  in  a  good  cause  one  must  make  sacrifices. 
William  of  Wykeham  sacrificed  his  pride  Moreover 
there  was  precedent  for  the  course.  Should  a  Bishop  be 

1  Dated  Havenng-atte-Bower,  7  Oct  1376  Royal  Wills, 

3  Chr.  Angl  136-7.  Itaque  twnto  duce  redonari  sibi  tempo- 
ralia  sua  ]ussiL  The  evidence  of  the  Monk  of  St  Albans  is  here, 
I  think,  conclusive.  He  would  never  slander  one  of  his  own 
party,  an  enemy  of  Lancaster, 



more  punctilious  than  the  Pope  himself  ?  Who  would 
dare  to  cast  the  first  stone,  when  the  head  of  Christendom 
had  besought  the  King's  mistress  to  use  her  influence  in  a 
personal  quarrel  ? x 

This  restoration  of  his  persecuted  servant  was  the 
last  political  act  of  Edward  III.  In  spite  of  his  feebleness 
he  was  able  to  hold  one  last  feast  of  the  Garter  at  Windsor, 
and  there  he  made  his  grandson  and  heir  knight.8 

After  that  his  strength  gradually  sank.  The  end 
came  at  Sheen  on  Sunday,  June  21,  1377,  the  jubilee 
of  his  reign.  In  spite  of  the  misfortunes  of  his  last  years 
and  one  discreditable  liaison  which  cast  a  shadow  over  his 
good  fame  at  the  end,  Edward  never  lost  the  affections 
of  his  people.  Even  the  chroniclers  who  lament  his 
fatal  infatuation  save  their  censures  for  its  unworthy 
object,  and  pour  out  the  vials  of  righteous  wrath  upon 
the  heartless  and  greedy  favourite  who  deserted  the  King 
in  his  last  moments  and,  if  rumour  speaks  truth,  robbed 
him  of  the  very  rings  on  has  fingers.3  As  for  Edward 
himself  his  faults  and  shortcomings  are  forgotten.  The 
callous  and  selfish  ambition  which  embarked  England 
upon  the  Hundred  Years  War  did  not  appear  in  its  true 
light  to  his  subjects.  They  were  dazzled  by  his  victories. 
They  loved  him  for  his  past  glories,  for  his  courage  and 
clemency,  his  affability  and  generous,  openhanded 
character.  His  end  was  edifying,  for  at  the  last,  the  monks 
are  careful  to  record,  a  sincere  repentance  smoothed  the 
way  to  that  bourne  from  which  no  traveller  returns. 

1  Jean  de  Graily  had  got  Roger  Beaufort,  brother  of 
Gregory  XI,  in  his  possession ,  Roger  had  been  his  prisoner  ever 
since  the  Pope's  election.  The  Pope  writes  on  his  behalf  to  the 
Black  Prince,  John  of  Gaunt,  Aubrey  de  Vere,  the  Prince's 
secretary,  William  of  Wykeham,  Richard,  Earl  of  Arundel,  and 
Ahce  Ferrers.  Papal  Letters,  vol.  iv  p.  96 

3  Wals  i.  326. 

3  For  the  death-bed  scene  see  Chr>  Angl>  p  142-6,  Wals, 
i  326  ,  for  Edward's  character,  Murimuth,  225-7. 



The  King  had  many  qualities  which  endeared  him  to  his 
subjects,  who  soon  learned  to  point  the  contrast  between 
his  martial  spirit  and  the  effeminate  weakness  of  his 

The  glories  of  the  great  war  were  remembered,  its 
failures  and  miseries  forgotten ;  its  fatal  consequences 
could  not  be  foreseen.  Therefore  history,  which  like 
fortune  deals  out  good  and  evil  things  in  unequal  measure, 
has  consented  to  deal  tenderly  with  the  memory  of  the 
third  Edward,  and  Froissart  is  only  expressing  the 
thoughts  of  his  subjects  when  he  says  of  Edward  III  ; 
"  He  had  been  a  good  King  to  them  never  had  they 
the  like  since  the  time  of  King  Arthur  who  was  afore 
time  King  of  England," 1 

Le  Roi  est  mort ;  Vive  le  Roi !  The  city  of  London 
at  least  was  not  slow  in  declaring  its  loyalty  to  the  young 
King  When  the  news  of  Edward's  condition  was  known, 
even  before  the  end  came,  the  city  sent  a  deputation  to 
Prince  Richard,  who  with  his  mother  was  staying  at 
Kingston  John  Phihpot,  as  spokesman  for  the  citizens, 
was  charged  to  protest  their  unwavering  loyalty  to  the 
person  of  the  heir,2  to  recommend  the  city  to  his  favour, 
to  entreat  him  to  come  to  London,  and  finally  to  compose 
the  quarrel  between  the  city  and  the  Duke 

The  next  day  a  gracious  reply  was  returned,  and  Lord 
Latimer,  Sir  Nicholas  Bonde,  Sir  Simon  Burley,  and  Sir 
Richard  Aderby  were  sent  to  London  with  a  formal 
announcement  of  Edward's  death  and  the  greetings  of  the 
new  King 

In  compliance  with  the  citizens'  request  the  King  would 
shortly  come  to  London  Meanwhile  he  had  already 
tried  to  compose  the  quarrel,  and  the  Duke  had  submitted 

1  Froissart,  K  de  L  viii  389, 

2  Chr   Angl    146-7,   Wals    i    329-30.    The  words   "  Qui    in 
proximo  entis  noster  rex,  quern  solum  regem  recognoscimus," 
etc  ,  are  significant 



without  reserve  to  his  will.  The  citizens  were  invited 
to  do  the  same, 

A  storm  of  opposition  greeted  this  suggestion.  The 
citizens  were  on  their  guard ;  they  suspected  a  trap. 
Only  after  six  hours'  argument,  and  upon  the  King's 
envoys  swearing  on  their  honour  that  submission  should 
not  prejudice  life,  limb  or  privileges,  did  the  citizens 

At  length  they  screwed  their  courage  to  the  sticking 
point  and  went  to  the  young  King  at  Sheen,  where 
Richard  received  them  in  the  presence  of  his  mother 
and  his  uncles  and  the  whole  royal  family  Lancaster 
did  everything  in  his  power  to  disarm  suspicion  Falling 
upon  his  knees  before  the  young  King,  he  entreated  him 
to  take  the  quarrel  into  his  own  hands  He  even  asked 
pardon  for  those  who  were  awaiting  punishment  on 
account  of  the  late  disorders  Then  rising,  the  Duke 
swore  to  forget  the  quarrel,  and  gave  the  kiss  of  peace 
to  each  of  the  city  magnates  in  turn.  Such  an  edifying 
spectacle  moves  the  contemporary  chroniclers  to  pious 
thanksgiving  Once  more  the  Monk  of  Saint  Albans1 
loses  control  of  his  feelings,  and  cries  out — "  Haec  est 
mutatio  dextrae  Excelsi !  " 

On  Friday  following  the  Duke  met  his  late  enemies 
at  Westminster,  and  a  herald  publicly  proclaimed  the 
welcome  news  of  the  pacification3 

Policy  required  one  more  reconciliation,  and  justice 
cried  aloud  for  one  act  of  restitution 

Richard  made  peace  between  his  uncle  and  the  Bishop 
of  Winchester,  and  released  Sir  Peter  de  la  Mare  from 
prison  The  Duke  had  no  choice  but  to  be  reconciled 

1  The  point  of  his  story,  however,  is  rather  spoilt  by  the  fact 
that  it  was  not  St  Albans  Day,  and  therefore  the  Saint's  mediation 
need  not  be  invoked  to  supplement  political  causes      Chr  Angl 


2  Chr  Angl  150 



To  smooth  the  way  for  his  nephew's  accession  was  the 
only  practical  way  of  rebutting  the  charges  of  disloyalty. 
But  he  must  have  been  galled  at  the  reception  given  to 
the  persecuted  Speaker  of  the  Commons 

From  his  prison  at  Nottingham  to  London,  Sir  Peter's 
journey  was  a  triumphal  progress,  for  persecution,  as 
usual,  had  made  a  martyr,  and  Lancaster  had  gained 
nothing  by  a  flagrant  act  of  injustice  to  a  bold  political 

For  the  moment,  however,  old  quarrels  were  buried, 
and  all  parties  combined  to  welcome  the  new  King. 

The  Duke  of  Lancaster  was  not  a  man  to  forego  any 
dignity  to  which  his  territorial  position  gave  him  a  claim. 
There  were  reasons  of  policy,  however,  as  well  as  of 
etiquette,  which  induced  him  to  play  a  prominent  part 
in  the  coronation.  The  Council  had  admitted  his  legal 
right  as  Earl  of  Leicester  to  act  as  High  Seneschal  of 
England,  as  Duke  of  Lancaster  to  bear  the  Curtana  on 
the  day  of  the  coronation,  and  as  Earl  of  Lincoln  to  carve 
before  the  King  at  table. 

All  these  duties  he  undertook  in  person  or  by  deputy 
The  coronation  was  the  outward  and  visible  expression 
of  the  beginning  of  the  new  reign.  As  the  Duke  had 
smoothed  the  way  for  the  accession,  he  was  determined  to 
play  his  proper  part  in  the  ceremonial  also. 

As  High  Seneschal  his  first  duty  was  to  hear  and  decide 
claims  to  perform  the  traditional  coronation  services 
Under  the  Duke's  presidency  the  Court  of  Claims  began  to 
sit  in  the  White  Hall  of  the  Palace  at  Westminster,  near 
the  King's  Chapel,  on  July  gth.  As  the  ceremony  itself 
had  been  arranged  for  the  i6th  this  left  only  a  week 
for  the  work,  and  it  is  not  surprising  that  the  Sene 
schal  found  himself  hard  pressed.  Out  of  nineteen 
claims  preferred  fourteen  were  dear,  and  were  granted 
forthwith.  One  was  ruled  out  of  court,  but  the  remaining 
four,  claims  which  raised  complicated  issues  of  hereditary 



right,  had  to  be  settled  " without  prejudice"  by  a  pro 
visional  ruling 1 

After  the  Seneschal  himself  the  most  important  officers 
were  Thomas  of  Woodstock,  Constable  in  the  right  of 
his  wife,  a  daughter  and  co-heir  of  Humphrey  de 
Bohun,  the  last  Earl  of  Hereford  of  his  name,  and  Henry 
Percy,  Marshal,  an  office  which  in  spite  of  the  right  of 
Margaret,  Countess  of  Norfolk,  the  Crown  claimed  to 
dispose  of  at  will  Robert  de  Vere,  Earl  of  Oxford, 
although  a  minor,  was  allowed  to  act  as  the  King's 
Chamberlain — a  mark  of  that  friendship  which,  dating 
from  childhood,  was  to  be  the  curse  of  Richard's  later 
years.  Among  the  coronation  services  one  innovation 
marks  the  peculiar  condition  of  politics  at  the  time  : 
by  Richard's  special  desire  the  Mayor  was  allowed  to  serve 
the  king  with  a  golden  cup  and  the  citizens  to  serve  in  the 
butlery  Even  mthe  ceremonial  the  spirit  of  compromise 
showed  itself ,  for  the  Mayor  served  beside  his  foe  Lord 
Latimer  the  Almoner.  The  lion  and  the  lamb  lay  down 
together  and  a  little  child  led  them. 

The  claimants  satisfied,  or  the  reverse,  London  got  ready 
for  the  ceremony  of  the  i6th.a 

On  the  day  before  the  coronation  the  Peers,  with  their 
retinues,  and  the  Mayor  and  Sheriffs  assembled  at  the 
gates  of  the  Tower,  and  amid  the  blare  of  trumpets 
conducted  the  King  down  Cheapside  and  Fleet  Street, 
where  fountains  were  running  with  wine,  and  the  houses 
were  hung  with  cloth  of  gold  and  silver  or  hangings  of 
gay  colours,  to  Westminster  Palace, while  the  fickle  London 
crowd,  delighted  with  the  gracious  bearing  of  the  Seneschal 
and  Marshal,  forgot  their  grudge  and  for  one  day  cheered 
Lancaster  and  Percy  as  they  headed  the  cortege. 

1  Mummenta  Gildhallae  Londomensts  (Liber  Custumarum), 
P  456 

a  Chr  Angl  152-163,  Wals  i  331-9;  Murimuth,  228;  Mon. 
Eve.  i>  Froissart,  K,  de  L.  vin.  392. 



That  night  the  King  slept  at  Westminster  Palace. 
The  next  morning  after  hearing  mass  the  procession 
passed  over  scarlet  cloth,  laid  down  by  the  King's  Almoner, 
from  the  great  Hall  of  the  Palace  to  the  Abbey, 

Even  in  his  tender  youth  the  King  seems  to  have 
possessed  the  strange  beauty  of  the  Plantagenets,  and 
eye-witnesses  described  the  child  dressed  m  white  robes 
symbolical  of  his  innocence,  as  "fair  among  men  as  another 
Absalom  "  *  Before  him  were  Lancaster  with  the  Curtana, 
the  Earls  of  March  and  Warwick  with  the  second  sword 
and  the  gilt  spurs,  the  Earl  of  Cambridge  and  Thomas  of 
Woodstock,  each  bearing  a  sceptre  surmounted  with  a 
dove.  The  Bishops  of  St.  David's  and  Worcester,  Chan 
cellor  and  Treasurer  respectively,  walked  before  the  King, 
bearing  a  rich  chalice,  and  the  Primate  with  the  Bishops 
of  London  and  Winchester  followed. 

Then  came  the  elaborate  ceremonial  consecrated  by 
tradition  for  the  coronation  of  an  English  King.  The 
King  takes  the  oath  to  keep  faith,  to  preserve  and  maintain 
the  laws  of  the  realm,  in  particular  those  of  St  Edward, 
to  do  ]  ustice  and  show  mercy  He  is  accepted  by  acclama 
tion.  Solemnly  the  Primate  gives  him  his  blessing  He 
receives  the  holy  nte  of  unction.  He  is  invested  with 
the  tunic  of  St  Edward,  the  sword  and  bracelet,  the  robe 
and  the  spurs  Finally  the  crown  is  placed  upon  his 
head  and  the  ring  upon  his  finger.  The  sceptre  is  handed 
to  him,  and  again  invoking  divine  blessings  the  Primate 
leads  him  to  the  throne  After  the  enthronement  mass 
is  sung ;  the  King  makes  his  offering,  receives  the  Eucha 
rist,  confesses,  and  is  absolved. 

Among  many  impressive  coronation  scenes  that  of 
July  16,  1377,  is  peculiarly  moving  The  helplessness, 
the  youth  and  innocence  of  the  child  upon  whom  King 
Edward's  crown  had  devolved,  had  done  what  the  will  of  a 
grown  man  could  scarcely  have  effected.  For  a  moment 

1  Adam  of  Usk,  i. 


all  parties  had  laid  aside  their  quarrels.  The  Bishop  of 
Rochester,  in  his  sermon  addressed  to  the  city  the  next 
day,  could  hold  up  before  the  people  the  ensample  of  a  life 
as  yet  unspotted  by  the  world.  But  time  failed  to  keep 
its  promises.  The  King,  whose  advent  was  hailed  with 
loyal  enthusiasm  on  every  side,  could  not  win  and  keep 
his  subjects'  affection.  Generous  instincts  and  childless 
innocence  disappeared  in  a  premature  manhood,  giving 
place  to  callousness,  levity  and  vice.  The  oath  to  do 
justice  between  man  and  man  and  show  mercy,  to  observe 
the  laws  and  live  according  to  right,  was  soon  to  be  broken; 
the  reign  begun  with  such  bright  promise  was  to  end  in 

But  the  future  moulded  by  Richard's  yet  unformed 
character  could  not  be  foreseen.  For  the  moment  London 
and  the  Court  was  given  up  to  rejoicing. 

A  state  banquet  closed  the  coronation  day ;  and  before 
feasting  began  the  King  made  four  grants  of  peerage.  His 
youngest  uncle,  Thomas  of  Woodstock,  was  made  Earl 
of  Buckingham  ;  Guiscard  d'Angouleme,  Earl  of  Hunting 
don  ;  Thomas  Mowbray,  Earl  of  Nottingham,  and  the 
Marshal  Henry  Percy,  Earl  of  Northumberland.  Thomas 
of  Woodstock,  though  a  son  of  Edward  III,  was  far 
behind  his  brothers  in  territorial  dignities ;  he  had  seen 
a  nephew,  Lancaster's  son,  Henry,  Earl  of  Derby,  admitted 
to  the  Order  of  the  Garter  before  him ;  the  Earldom 
of  Buckingham  was  a  tardy  recognition  of  the  claims  of 
the  blood  royal.  The  other  creations  show  Lancaster's 
influence  and  the  young  King's  own  preferences.  The 
new  Earl  of  Huntingdon  had  been  his  tutor ;  Mowbray, 
like  Vere,  was  of  his  own  years  and  had  been  brought 
up  with  him,  while  Henry  Percy  was  as  yet  a  firm 
partisan  of  the  Duke.1 

1  At  the  end  of  the  detailed  account  of  the  Coronation  in  the 
Liber  Custumarum : — Memorandum  quod  praedictus  Rex  Cas- 
tellae  et  Legionis  Dux  Lancastriae  et  Seneschallus  Angliae  istura 
processum  per  manus  suas  proprias  in  Cancellarium  Domini 



Three  days  later  the  King,  or  rather  his  advisers,  named 
the  Conned.1  All  interests  were  represented  ,  no  single 
party  predominated.  The  royal  family  was  represented  by 
the  Earl  of  Cambridge,  a  man  entirely  under  his  brother's 
power,  but  too  feeble  to  have  any  influence.  William 
Courtenay,  Bishop  of  London,  was  balanced  by  Ralf 
Erghum,  Bishop  of  Salisbury,  the  Duke's  Chancellor  ,  the 
rest  were  the  Earls  of  Arundel  and  March,  Lords  Latimer, 
Cobham,  Roger  Beauchamp,  and  Richard  Stafford,  Sir 
John  Knyvet,  Sir  Ralph  Ferrers,  Sir  John  Devereux  and 
Sir  Hugh  Segrave,  Lancaster  himself  was  too  wise  to 
claim  a  place 

This  spirit  of  compromise  which  had  marked  the 
accession  inspired  the  acts  of  the  young  king's  first  Par 
liament,  which  met  at  Westminster  on  October  I3th  2 
It  was  undoubtedly  an  anti-Lancastrian  Parliament  A 
large  proportion  of  the  Knights  of  the  Shire  who  had 
sat  in  the  "  Good  "  Parliament  and  had  lost  their  seats  in 
January,  were  returned  again,3  and  Sir  Peter  de  la  Mare 
was  again  chosen  Speaker. 

This  being  so,  the  Commons  showed  an  altogether 
extraordinary  friendliness  to  the  Duke.  Perhaps  the 
correctness  of  his  attitude  at  the  accession  had  told  in  his 
favour  ,  probably  the  rumours  of  disloyalty  had  not  been 
believed  by  those  who  for  political  purposes  had  consented 
to  give  them  currency.  At  any  rate  the  first  act  of  the 
Commons  was  to  conciliate  their  former  enemy.  Following 
the  precedents  set  in  the  last  two  Parliaments,they  prayed 
that  certain  peers  would  form  an  advisory  committee. 

Regis  hberavitj  ibidem  in  rotulis  ejusdem  Cancellam  irrotu- 

1  Foed  VII   161,  dated  July  20,  1377. 

3  Parliament  was  summoned  by  writ  dated  4  August,  i  Richard 
II,  for  the  qumzauie  of  St.  Michael  (Dugdale,  Summons,  2pA). 
Rot  Park  111  3-31, 

3  A  return  of  every  member  of  Parliament  Chr,  Angl  171 , 
Wals  i  343 



The  name  of  the  "  King  of  Castile  and  Leon  and  Duke 
of  Lancaster  "  headed  the  list  This  gave  the  Duke  his 
chance  No  sooner  was  the  Commons'  bill  read  than 
Lancaster  rose  in  his  place  and  walked  up  to  the  throne 
There  was  a  flutter  in  the  House  All  parties  were 
anxious  for  peace,  and  nervous  members  wondered 
what  was  m  store  Falling  upon  his  knees  before  the 
boy  King,  the  Duke  prayed  humbly  that  he  would  listen 
for  a  while  to  words  which  concerned  his  own  person 
as  well  as  his  sovereign 

The  Commons  had  chosen  him  to  be  one  of  their 
advisors  By  the  King's  favour  he  would  not  act  as 
their  advisor  until  he  had  cleared  himself  of  charges 
current  among  the  people,  charges  which  touched  his 
honour.  Unworthy  as  he  was,  he  was  a  son  of  Edward 
III,  and  after  the  King  one  of  the  greatest  peers  of  the 
realm.  The  malicious  rumours  spread  by  his  enemies 
would,  if  true  (which  God  forbid)  amount  to  open  treason 
Until  the  truth  were  known  he  could  do  nothing  None 
of  his  ancestors  had  ever  been  traitor ,  they  had  all 
been  true  and  loyal  subjects  of  the  crown  He  himself 
had  more  to  lose  by  treachery  than  any  other  man  in 
England ;  apart  from  this,  it  would  be  a  strange  and 
marvellous  thing  if  he  should  so  far  depart  from  the 
traditions  of  his  blood.  If  any  man,  whatever  his  degree, 
dared  to  charge  him  with  treason,  disloyalty  or  any  act 
prejudicial  to  the  realm,  he  was  prepared  to  defend 
himself  with  his  body  as  readily  as  the  poorest  gentleman 
in  England 1 

The  Duke  ended  It  was  a  striking  scene — the  greatest 
feudatory  of  the  realm  kneeling  before  the  child-king, 
protesting  his  innocence,  defying  his  unknown  slanderers, 
and  offering  to  defend  his  loyalty  by  wager  of  battle 

It  was  a  repetition  in  a  hostile  parliament  of  the 
manifesto,  which  in  the  Lancastrian  Parliament  of 

1  Rot  Part  m  5 


January  he  had  issued  in  the  Chancellor's  opening 
speech,  and  it  produced  a  marked  effect  Lords  spiritual 
and  temporal  crowded  round  the  Duke  before  the  throne 
and  entreated  him  to  be  appeased.  They  were  sure 
that  no  one  would  dare  to  pronounce  the  charges  which 
he  denied  The  Commons  joined  the  entreaties  of  the 
peers.  Could  any  one  doubt  that  they  held  the  Duke 
innocent  ?  Had  they  not  selected  him  to  be  their 
"  principal  aid,  comforter  and  councillor  ?  " 

With  a  protest  against  the  nameless  authors  of  these 
calumnies,  the  real  traitors  who  were  endeavouring 
to  wreck  the  peace  of  England,  Lancaster  allowed  himself 
to  be  pacified  For  himself  he  was  willing  to  forgive  the 
guilty  He  did  not  ask  that  any  man  should  be 
punished  for  the  past.  But  he  urged  Parliament  to 
prevent  the  recurrence  of  conduct  which  might  imperil 
the  peace  and  quiet  of  the  realm. 

Following  up  this  moderate  conduct  Lancaster  acqui 
esced  in  the  wishes  of  the  Commons  They  peti 
tioned  that  Acts  of  Parliament  should  not  be  repealed 
by  irregular  influence  out  of  Parliament ,  that  eight 
members  should  be  added  to  the  Council,  that  Lord 
Latimer  should  be  removed  and  that  William  Walworth 
and  John  Phihpot,  merchants  of  London,  should  be 
appointed  treasurers  to  receive  the  monies  voted  for  the 
war  When  the  Commons  insisted  on  bringing  Alice 
Perrers  to  trial,  the  Duke,  so  far  from  interfering,  gave 
evidence  against  her.1 

These  petitions  were  granted,  and  after  a  liberal  vote, 
two  tenths  and  two  fifteenths,  Parliament  dissolved. 
Lancaster  had  offered  no  opposition  He  had  put 
forward  no  claim  to  the  regency  or  to  a  preponderant 
influence  on  the  council  Leaving  the  affairs  of  state 
to  others  Lancaster  retired  for  a  while  from  public  life 

To  avoid  responsibility  was  to  avoid  suspicion.    The 

1  Rot.  Parl  111 


Duke  had  other  interests  in  hfe  besides  the  control  of  the 
King's  council,  the  Chancery  and  the  Treasury.  What 
these  interests  were  will  appear  from  a  short  survey  of 
the  Lancastrian  estates 


Chapter  X 


"  TOHN,  by  the  grace  of  God,  King  of  Castile  and  Leon, 
J  Duke  of  Lancaster,  Earl  of  Derby,  Lincoln  and 
Leicester,  Lord  of  Beaufort  and  Nogent,  of  Bergerac  and 
Roche-sur-Yon,  Seneschal  of  England  and  Constable  of 
Chester  " — such  was  the  style  in  which  Lancaster  Herald 
could  proclaim  John  of  Gaunt. 

The  titular  sovereignty  of  Castile  forms  one  of  the 
most  interesting  portions  of  Lancastrian  story,  and  of 
this  we  shall  speak  at  length  later ;  the  lands  in  France 
and  Aquitame  deserve  at  least  a  passing  notice 

On  the  fringe  of  the  great  Lancastrian  inheritance  lay  two 
seigniories  in  France,  Beaufort  and  Nogent ;  and  these, 
with  two  others,  Bergerac  and  Roche-sur-Yon,  which 
came  not  by  inheritance  from  Duke  Henry,  but  by  grant 
from  Prince  Edward,  make  up  the  sum  of  Duke  John's 
territorial  interest  in  France  and  Aquitaine.1  Beaufort 
and  its  connexion  with  John  of  Gaunt  have  for  genera 
tions  proved  a  stumbling  block  and  rock  of  offence  to 
the  genealogist.  Unfortunately,  there  is  a  Beaufort  in 
Anjou,  in  Artois,  inPicardy,  in  Champagne,  in  Dauphme 
and  in  Savoy.  With  this  "  embarras  de  choix  "  com 
pilers  of  Peerages  and  others a  have  usually  fixed  upon 
Beaufort  in  Anjou,  which  has  never  had  the  remotest 
connexion  with  John  of  Gaunt 

1  He  had  also  certain  tenements  in  Calais  (Delpit  Collection, 
PP  83,189,  ccxlix;  200,  cclxxvui,  202,  cclxxx,  208-9,  cccvi) 
In  1489,  the  Lancastrian  tenements  in  Calais  were  worth  407  45 

a  e  g  Collins*  Peerage,  etc  ,  and  Diet  Nat  Biog  Art  Henry 
Beaufort  Kervyn  de  Lettenhove  Froissart,  xx  282,  etc.. 



It  is  perhaps  worth  while   to   rescue   the  name  of 
Beaufort1  from  the  limbo  of  romance 

At  the  present  time  in  the  Canton  of  Chavanges  (Aube), 
between  Chalons  and  Troyes,  there  is  a  village  called 
Montmorency  Before  the  family  of  Montmorency  held 
it  and  gave  it  their  name  the  village  was  called  Beaufort 
In  1270  Blanche  of  Artois,  niece  of  Samt  Louis  and 
wife  of  Henry  III,  Count  of  Champagne  and  King  of 
Navarre,  bought  the  lordship  of  Beaufort  and  of  Nogent 2 
Blanche  married  en  noces  Edmund,  Earl  of  Lan 
caster,  and  on  Edmund's  death  Blanche's  lands  were 
divided  between  her  second  and  third  sons,  Henry, 
third  Earl,  and  John  "  of  Lancaster."  When  John  died 
in  1336  without  issue,  Beaufort  and  Nogent  became  the 
sole  property  of  Henry,  third  Earl  of  Lancaster,  and 
passed  from  him  through  Duke  Henry  to  Blanche  of 
Lancaster  and  John  of  Gaunt. 

Henry  III   Count  of —Blanche  of  Artois=Edmund,  Earl  of  Lancaster, 

Champagne ,  King 
of  Navarre,  m  1269, 
d   22  July,  1274 

bought  the  lord 
ship  of  Beaufort 
1270  (June) 

Count  Palatine  of  Cham 
pagne  and  Brie,  m  January, 

Thomas,  Earl 
of  Lancaster 

Henry,  Earl 

of  Lancaster,  Lord 

of  Beaufort, 


John  "of  Lancaster, "— Aahs  de 
Lord  of  Beaufort,  Jomville 
d  1336  (no  issue) 

Henry,  Duke  of  Lancaster, 
Lord  of  Beaufort 

Blanche = John  of  Gaunt, 
Lord  of  Beaufort 

2  Lancaster's  lease  quoted  below  (L  962)  describes  the  town 
as  l^ogent-sur -Marne  There  are  two  towns  of  this  name  on  the 
Marne,  f  Nogent-sur-Marne  *  arr  Sceaux  cant.  Charenton,  and 
'  Nogent-l'Artaud/  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Marne  an  Chateau 
Thierry  cant  Charly  It  was  the  second  which  belonged  to  the 
Count  of  Champagne  See  Pigeotte,  Seigneurs  de  Beaufort,  16, 17 



It  is  clear  that  John  of  Gaunt  could  not  in  the  nature 
of  things  exercise  much  influence  in  an  outlying  part  of  the 
Lancastrian  inheritance  situated  in  the  heart  of  what 
was  for  the  greater  part  of  his  life  an  enemy's  country. 

His  lordship  perhaps  saved  the  lands  from  devastation 
when  Champagne  was  raided  time  after  time  by 
English  armies  marching  from  Calais  to  the  South,  but 
there  is  no  evidence  that  he  ever  set  foot  in  either  of  the 
towns  which  called  him  lord,1  or  ever  spent  a  day  in  the 
castle  where  romance  tells  us  that  his  children  were 
born  A  charter  still  exists,  however,  by  which  the 
Duke  takes  under  his  protection  the  Abbot  and 
Convent  of  Chapelle  aux  Planches,  who,  in  1364,  were 
being  persecuted  m  a  local  feud,  and  grants  the  Abbot 
licence  to  affix  the  arms  of  Lancaster  to  the  houses  of  the 
Convent,  m  token  of  his  favour  8 

Beaufort  only  once  draws  upon  itself  the  attention  of 
history  during  the  Hundred  Years  War.  That  is  upon 
the  outbreak  of  the  hostilities  in  1369, 

The  duke  was  unfortunate  in  his  choice  of  a  tenant, 
for  John  Wyn,  to  whom  in  1365  he  had  leased  the 
castles  and  lordships  of  Beaufort  and  Nogent  for  ten 
years,  at  a  y  early  rental  of  £100  sterling,3  turned  French 
and  sold  his  trust 4  Wyn  was  a  friend  of  Owen  of  Wales, 
Froissart  tells  us  ,  that  he  had  a  reputation  for  gallantry 
we  may  perhaps  infer  from  his  nickname  "  Poursuivant 
d' amour,"  but  little  else  is  known  of  the  last  tenant  who 
held  Beaufort  and  Nogent  of  a  Lancastnan  overlord  except 
the  treason  with  which  Beaufort  and  Nogent  pass  into  the 

1  He  passed  near  his  lands  in  1373 

2  Dated  the  Savoy,   October  28,  1364,  Lalore   Cartulains  de 
Troyes,  iv    85-6      The  mandate  is   addressed  "  Aux  premiers 
sergens  de  nos  terres  de  Beaufort  et  autres  en  France  " 

3  Indenture  dated  Leicester,  June  6,  39  Ed  III   1365      [PR  O 
Series  L  (Duchy  of  Lancaster  Royal  Charters  and  ancient  deeds) 

*  Froissart,  K  deL.vui  324-5,539    J$QutiQt,fastoire  deTroyes 



hands  of  the  Kings  of  France,  become  part  of  the  royal 
domain,  and  disappear  from  Lancastrian  story  If 
it  had  not  been  gravely  stated  that  the  "  Beauforts  " 
must  have  been  born  before  1369,  when  the  castle  was 
lost,  it  would  scarcely  be  necessary  to  add  that  no 
argument  as  to  the  date  of  the  hatson  with  Kathenne 
Swynford  can  be  based  on  the  Duke's  tenure  Kathenne 
never  saw  Beaufort,  and  her  children  were  certainly  not 
born  there  The  explanation  of  the  choice  of  this  name 
for  the  Duke's  illegitimate  family  must  be  found  in  the 
fact  that  among  the  many  territorial  titles  which  came  by 
descent  to  John  of  Gaunt  it  was  found  convenient  to 
choose  one  which  would  not  prejudice  the  rights  of  his 
legitimate  heir.  The  names  of  the  English  Honors  being 
impossible,  it  was  found  convenient  to  assume  for  them 
the  name  of  a  French  seigniory  long  since  lost,  and  after 
the  legitimation  to  retain  a  name  long  familiar  to  England, 
and  not  unknown  to  the  chivalry  of  Europe. 

Bergerac  and  Roche-sur-Yon  were  both  granted  to 
John  of  Gaunt  by  the  Black  Prince  on  the  same 
day,  October  8,  1370,  just  after  the  destruction  of 
Limoges  1  Both  were  granted  to  the  Duke  and  his  heirs 
male  in  tail,  with  reversion  to  Prince  Edward  as  over 
lord.  The  French  soon  got  possession  of  Roche,  but 
while  the  Duke  held  it,  the  town  was  worth  500  marcs 
a  year  to  his  exchequer  2 

Bergerac,  as  well  as  being  a  source  of  revenue,  was  a 
place  of  considerable  strategical  importance,  for  it  com 
manded  the  Dordogne,  and  the  lines  of  communication 
between  Bordeaux  and  central  and  southern  France. 

Captured  in   1345    by  Henry   Duke   of    Lancaster, 

1  Delpit  Collection,  ccxviii  and  ccxix 

2  Indenture  dated  La  Rochellej  September  25,  1371,  leasing 
the  lordship  to  Sir  Thomas  Percy  and  Sir  John  Harpeden,  Sene 
schals   of  Poitou  and  Saintonge  and  to  Sir  Regnault  Vivonne. 
Delpit  Collection^  ccxxxi 


Bergerac  had  been  granted  in  tail  to  him  and  his  heirs 
male  by  Edward  III  two  years  later 1 

Having  reverted  to  the  Crown  on  Duke  Henry's 
death,  Bergerac,  being  parcel  of  the  Duchy  of  Aquitaine, 
came  into  the  hand  of  Prince  Edward,  and  by  the 
grant  of  1370  John  of  Gaunt  held  it  with  the  same  powers 
and  privileges  as  his  father-in-law  had  held  it  from 
Edward  III  When  the  Black  Prince  renounced  the 
Principality  Edward  III  renewed  the  grant,2  and  one 
of  the  first  acts  of  Richard's  minority  was  to  confirm  it 3 

But  it  was  one  thing  to  hold  the  town  by  charter  and 
another  to  hold  it  by  the  sword,  and  the  importance 
of  Bergerac  as  a  strategical  position  exposed  it  to 
the  brunt  of  all  the  fighting  in  the  South  Anjou 
and  du  Guesclin  took  the  town  after  a  great  siege 
m  September,  1377,*  and  after  that  date  it  was 
taken  and  retaken  a  dozen  times  by  French  and  English 
forces,  until  in  the  end  it  shared  the  fortunes  of  the 
whole  Gascon  dependency  of  the  English  Crown.  In 
1381  the  Duke  makes  a  charge  upon  its  revenues,  to 
reward  one  of  his  feudatories  who  had  suffered  in  the  wars, 
but  the  town  was  then  in  the  hands  of  the  French,  and 
the  grant  is  conditional  on  its  recovery5  At  different 
times  three  members  of  the  family  of  Buade  were  charged 
with  its  custody.  A  certain  Heliot  Buade  was  appointed 
Governor  in  I37i,fl  and  ten  years  later  Pierre  Buade  and 

1  June  i,  1347     Cf  Delpit  Collection,  clu 

3  November  8,  1376     Delpit  Collection,  cclxvii 

3  September  15,  1377     Delpit  Collection,  cclxvui 

4  I/an    m  ccc  Ixxvii    a    111    de    Setembre  lo  due    d'Ango    e 
mossenhor  Bertran  de  Claquin  Conestable  de  Fransa  preoigoren 
Bragueyrac  Sancta  Fe  e  Castelhon  de  Peyregorc  e  aprop  anet 
a  Basax     Petite  Chromque  de  Guyenne  §73      The  siege  began 
August  22 

6  Warrant  to  the  Governor,  Receiver  and  other  officers  of  the 
town  of  Bergerac  in  favour  of  Mondon  Ebrad,  Esquire,  dated 
Hertford,  May  6,  1381  Register  II  f  97 

fl  Warrant  dated  Montpont,  January  15,1371  Delpi  t  Collection 
ccxxv  Gift  to  Heliot  Buade,  Captain  of  Bergerac,  April  28,  51 



Miot  Buade  appear  as  Governor  and  ChsLtekin  re 
spectively  Their  loyalty  is  not  above  suspicion.  The 
Duke  thought  they  had  an  understanding  with  the 
enemy,  and  commanded  them  at  their  peril  to  restore 
their  trust,  appointing  Bertongat  de  la  Bret  to  super 
sede  them1  Whether  Bertongat  recovered  the  strong 
hold  is  doubtful,  but  as  late  as  1395  the  Duke  appears 
to  have  been  in  possession,  for  it  was  at  Bergerac  that 
he  received  the  French  envoys  in  that  year. 

The  history  of  the  town  with  its  vigorous  civic  life 
and  its  military  importance  is  rich  in  interest ;  and 
John  of  Gaunt  knew  its  value,  and  he  speaks  of  the  town 
"  come  de  ville  et  chastel  que  nous  aviens  bien  pres  au 
cuer."  In  the  great  Cowcher  book  of  the  Duchy  of 
Lancaster,  among  a  series  of  richly  illuminated  blazons 
of  his  lordship,  the  arms  of  Bergerac  mays  till  be  seen : 
"  Deux  pattes  de  griffon  de  sable  sur  un  champ  d'or  " 

Leaving  these  outposts,  let  us  advance  to  the  citadel 
itself,  and  examine  the  foundation  of  the  Duke's  great 
ness,  the  broad  and  solid  basis  of  territorial  power 
upon  which  was  built  his  preeminence  m  English  politics 
The  bulk  of  his  lands,  as  has  been  seen,  came  to  him 
by  inheritance  ,  they  were  the  fiefs  of  Edmund  Crouch- 
back,  the  broad  acres  of  Ferrers  Montfort,  Lacy,  and 
Chaworthe — the  accumulated  result  of  lavish  royal 
grants  and  a  succession  of  politic  marriages 

But  though  the  Lancastrian  patrimony  formed  the 
bulk,  it  was  not  the  whole  of  the  Duke's  possessions. 

In  1360,  after  the  death  of  Queen  Dowager  Isabella, 
Edward  III  granted  to  his  son  the  castle,  town  and  Honor 
of  Hertford,  and  the  towns  of  Beyford,  Essendon,  and 

Edw.  Ill  ,  payment  to  Arnold  Buade,  Captain  of  the  Castle  and 
Townof  Bergerac  (Duchy  of  Lanes  ).  Accounts  Various,  Bundle 
III  No  I,)  Confirmation  of  indenture  of  service  with  Arnald 
Buade,  Rot  Pat  22  Hie  II 

1  Commission  and  warrants  dated  Hertford,  May  6,  1381 
Delpit  Collection,  cclxxxn.  and  cclxxxui.  and  cclxxxiv. 



Hertingfordbury,  "with  all  their  members  and  appurte 
nances,  and  the  endowments  and  issues  thereunto 
belonging  "  1 

The  object  of  the  grant  was  to  provide  the  Earl  of 
Richmond,  as  he  then  was,  with  a  residence  until 
he  should  inherit  some  other  dwelling  befitting  his 
station.  But  when  the  Earl  of  Richmond  had  be 
come  Duke  of  Lancaster  and  the  master  of  the  Savoy, 
he  still  retained  his  Honor  of  Hertford,  and  Hertford 
Castle  was  to  the  last  one  of  his  favourite  residences 

This  addition  is  inconsiderable  in  relation  to  the 
total  of  the  Duke's  estates ;  not  so  the  next 

The  Honor  of  Richmond  had  been  the  first  appanage 
granted  to  John  of  Gaunt  The  Earldom  and  Honor 
since  the  Conquest  had  belonged  to  the  family  of  Mont- 
fort,  which,  besides  claiming  the  Dukedom  of  Brittany 
in  France,  had  also  taken  a  place  in  the  ranks  of  the 
English  baronage  In  1372,  to  attach  John  de  Mont- 
fort,  who  was  wavering  between  England  and  France, 
definitely  to  the  English  cause,  it  was  resolved  to  restore 
the  Earldom  and  Honor  to  the  original  holders  It  was 
found  to  be  "  for  the  advantage  of  the  King  and  the 
quiet  and  honour  of  the  whole  realm"  of  England  that 
the  Earldom  and  Honor  of  Richmond  should  be  restored, 
and  John,  "  like  a  grateful  son,  preferring  his  father's 
pleasure  and  the  honour  and  convenience  of  the  kingdom 
to  his  own  pnvate  advantage,"  surrendered  lands  and 
title  Such  sacrifice  did  not  go  unrewarded  He 
received  in  exchange  the  castle  of  Pevensey,  the  castle, 
Honor,  and  manor  of  Tickhill,  and  of  Knaresborough 
and  the  castle  and  manor  of  the  High  Peak,  together 

1  Record    Report ,   xxxi.   App    p    32       The   charter  is  dated 
May  20,   1360     It  was  renewed  October  8,  1376  (ibid  p  37) 
Great  Cowcher,  228  (i,  2  and  4)     The  manors  of  Beyford  and 
Essendon  more  than  once  had  been  granted  in  the  twelfth  and 
thirteenth  centimes  to  the  Lord  Treasurer  of  England 



with  manors,  franchises,  and  advowsons  in  half  a  dozen 
counties,  Nottingham,  Huntingdon,  Cambridge,  Norfolk, 
Suffolk  and  Sussex * 

These  two  additions,  the  Honor  of  Hertford,  and  the 
Honors  of  Tickhill,  Knaresborough  and  the  High  Peak 
and  the  rest  form  the  greater  part  of  the  second  Duke's 
additions  to  the  Lancastrian  patrimony,  but  throughout 
the  reign  of  his  father  and  that  of  his  nephew,  the  Duke's 
possessions  were  in  one  way  or  another  swelled  from 
time  to  time  by  royal  bounty 

The  mere  extent  of  lands,  however,  extraordinary  as  it 
was,  would  never  have  given  to  the  Lancastrian  in 
heritance  its  peculiar  distmctiveness  The  Duke  is 
differentiated  from  his  compeers  as  much  in  the  nature  as 
in  the  extent  of  his  power. 

In  1377  he  was  Duke  and  Count  Palatine  of  Lan 
caster.  As  for  the  title  of  Duke  it  meant  nothing 
more  than  a  certain  primacy  of  dignity  among  the  lords 
temporal  When  Edward  III  made  his  eldest  son 
Duke  of  Cornwall  in  1333,  the  title  was  new  to  England. 
The  creation  of  Duke  Henry  m  1351  was  the  second 
precedent,  and  the  creation  of  John  of  Gaunt  in  1362  is 
the  third  A  few  years  later  the  title  used  so  sparingly 
by  Edward  III  was  scattered  broadcast  by  the  prodigal 
hand  of  his  grandson,  and  Richard  IPs  Dukkth  or  "  Duke- 
lings  "  made  this  cheapened  dignity  ridiculous  in  the 
eyes  of  all  good  conservatives.  The  title  as  such  was 
"  vox  et  praeterea  nihil  "  A  breath  could  make  it  and 
unmake  it.  At  the  most,  before  the  lavish  creations  of 

1  Hardy,  Charters,  viu.  dated  June  25,  1372  Cf  Parl  Petit 
4678  Foed,  VI  728-737 ,  Gt  Cowcher,  222  (i) ,  the  Earldom  was 
given  to  Montfort  on  July  20  Foed  Warrant  to  the  Receiver 
of  Richmond  to  bring  all  the  accounts  to  London,  May  13,  1372 

Some  of  the  rolls  appear  to  have  gone  astray  Warrant  to  pay 
to  men  to  go  and  search  for  them,  Aug  30,  1372 

The  search  appears  to  have  been  successful  Warrant  to  deliver 
muniments,  standards  and  measures  to  the  Duke  of  Brittany, 
February  18,  1373.  Register,  I  f  151,  174 



Richard  IT,  it  could   call  attention  to  an  existing  pre 
eminence.    It  did  not  create  that  preeminence 

The  title  of  Duke  then  is  comparatively  unimportant 
As  for  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster,  it  did  not  exist  It 
may  seem  at  first  sight  a  paradox,  but  it  is  none  the  less 
true  that  in  the  modern  sense  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster 
did  not  and  could  not  exist  in  the  lifetime  of  John  of 
Gaunt  When  the  Duke  in  letters  and  warrants  speaks 
of  his  "  Duchy  of  Lancaster,"  he  always  means  not  the 
sum  total  of  his  vast  possessions  but  merely  one  portion 
of  them — the  County  of  Lancaster ;  before  1377,  the 
county  pure  and  simple,  and  after  1377,  the  County  Pala 
tine  One  and  the  same  officer  is  referred  to  now  as 
the  Receiver  "  in  Lancashire,"  now  as  the  Receiver  "  of 
the  County  of  Lancaster,"  now  as  the  Receiver  of  "  the 
Duchy  of  Lancaster," 

It  was  only  after  the  Dukes  of  Lancaster  became 
Kings  of  England  that  the  Duchy,  as  distinct  from  the 
County  Palatine,  came  to  exist.  Then  Henry  IV, 
desiring  to  mark  off  the  princely  inheritance  which 
came  to  him  by  hereditary  right,  from  the  royal 
estate,  which  he  had  acquired  by  usurpation,  con 
quest  or  election,  or  by  all  together  (he  was  careful 
not  to  distinguish),  gave  a  unity  to  his  father's  lands 
which  did  not  exist  in  his  father's  lifetime :  lands  in 
Sussex  or  Yorkshire  which  would  now  be  spoken  of  as 
"  parcel  of  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster,"  would  in  the  life  of 
John  of  Gaunt  have  been  referred  to  as  "  parcel  of  the 
Honor  of  Eagle,"  or  "parcel  of  the  Honor  of  Tickhill, 
or  of  Knaresborough,"  held  by  the  Duke  of  Lancaster 
in  chief 

Remembering  then  that  the  "Duke"  of  Lancaster 
is  only  the  more  dignified  style  of  the  Earl  of  Lancaster, 
and  that  for  present  purposes  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster 
means,  in  1377,  no  more  than  the  County  of  Lancaster, 
which  county  was  also  a  County  Palatine,  we  must 



examine  the  nature  of  the  first  great  source  of  the  Duke's 
power  and  wealth— the  Palatinate. 

In  earlier  days,  when  England  was  threatened  by 
invasion  from  over  sea,  and  was  hard  pressed  by  enemies 
on  her  own  borders,  it  had  been  found  highly  convenient 
to  allow  the  feudatories,  whose  territorial  power  lay  in 
the  districts  most  exposed  to  attack,  certain  powers 
and  privileges  of  royalty  Hence  the  erection  of  the 
Counties  Palatine 

But  even  in  those  days  of  insecurity  the  creation  of 
a  Palatinate  had  been  recognized  as  a  dangerous  remedy, 
and  measures  had  been  taken  to  limit  the  nsk  The  Pala 
tinate  of  Chester,  for  instance,  soon  became  a  royal 
appanage,  never  going  further  out  of  the  King's  hand 
than  to  the  hand  of  the  heir-apparent 

In  1351  Edward  III  recognised  the  debt  which  he 
and  England  owed  to  his  cousin,  Henry  of  Lancaster, 
by  erecting  the  county  of  Lancaster  into  a  Palatinate. 
The  grant  was  for  life  only,  and  therefore  became 
legally  extinct  in  1361 

The  position  of  Duke  Henry  did  not  differ  greatly 
from  that  of  his  son-in-law,  and  John  of  Gaunt  was  deter 
mined  to  regain  all  that  his  predecessor  had  held  Ever 
since  his  succession  he  had  exercised  one  act  of  regality  : 
he  had  nominated  the  Sheriffs  of  the  County  of  Lancaster x 
In  1377  he  recovered  .the  whole  of  the  jura  regaha 
conceded  to  his  predecessor,  and  after  an  abeyance  of 
sixteen  years  the  Palatinate  was  again  called  into 
existence,  and  again  the  grant  was  for  the  Duke's 

John  of  Gaunt,  possibly,  had  his  own  reasons  for  seeking 
this  aggrandizement  :  if  ever  there  were  to  be  a  repeti 
tion  of  the  "Good"  Parliament  it  might  be  convenient 
to  have  a  quasi-royal  jurisdiction  in  the  North,  where 
he  might  entrench  himself  against  his  enemies. 

1  Reg  I.  48, 65,  etc. 


What  had  been  granted  to  Duke  Henry  as  the  reward 
of  state  service  was  obtained  by  Duke  John  to  satisfy 
his  ambition  and  to  guard  against  contingencies,  But 
the  concession  made  in  1351,  equally  with  that  made 
in  1377,  was  politically  indefensible  For  the  Palatinate 
of  Lancaster  no  necessity  could  be  adduced,  military  or 
political  It  was  and  always  has  been  an  anachronism 
It  never  had  a  wson  tfetre,  and  has  never  served  a  useful 
purpose ,  it  was  a  glaring  example  of  Edward  Ill's 
indifference  to  constitutional  considerations,  if  not  of 
his  incapacity  in  statesmanship,  for  the  step  was  a  depar 
ture  from  the  sound  policy  of  Henry  II  and  Edward  I — 
the  statesmanlike  effort  to  build  up  a  central  system  of 
royal  justice  and  administration 

If  the  old  idea  of  a  Palatinate  had  still  had  any  sig 
nificance,  a  case  might  perhaps  have  been  made  out  for 
erecting  on  the  southern  borders  of  Wales,  in  Hereford, 
Monmouth,  Glamorgan,  and  Carmarthen,  where  Lancaster 
held  a  group  of  fortresses  of  the  first  rank,  a  palatinate 
jurisdiction,  to  join  through  the  lands  of  the  Earls  of  March 
with  the  Northern  Palatinate  of  Chester  A  still  more 
plausible  case  might  have  been  made  out  by  the  Percies 
for  a  Palatinate  in  Northumberland  At  least  the  lords 
of  Alnwick  could  plead  a  real  danger  on  the  Scottish 
border  But  the  Scots  never  got  so  far  as  the  Duke's 
lands  ,  if  they  crossed  the  border  at  the  northern  end  of 
the  Cheviots  they  ravaged  Northumberland  ,  if  they 
marched  across  the  southern  border  they  overran  Cum 
berland,  and  Westmorland  Berwick,  Carlisle,  and 
Pennth  were  attacked  *  but  the  Duke's  castles  of  Lan 
caster  and  Hornby  never  stood  a  siege,  still  less  Clitheroe 
and  Liverpool 

Politically,  therefore,  the  Palatinate  of  Lancaster  was 
useless,  and  could  only  be  harmful  The  charter  of 
1377  was  an  act  of  retrogression  To  measure  the 
extent  of  that  retrogression  the  question  must  be  asked  : 



What   were   the  rights   and  privileges  appertaining  to 
a  Count  Palatine  ? 

Let  the  royal  charter  of  donation  speak  for  itself l 

It  opens  with  the  usual  preamble,  a  mere  matter  of  form, 
reciting  the  conspicuous  merits  of  the  grantee,  his  strenu 
ous  goodness 3  excellent  wisdom  and  readiness  to  serve  the 
King  with  labour  and  charges,  and  his  intrepid  exposure 
to  the  dangers  of  war — merits  for  which  the  benefit  and 
honour  now  bestowed  are  some,  howbeit  an  inadequate, 

Then  we  come  to  business.  "  Of  certain  knowledge 
and  with  cheerful  heart,  with  the  assent  of  the  prelates 
and  nobles  in  Parliament  assembled,"  the  King  grants 
for  himself  and  his  heirs,  "  that  for  the  whole  of  his  life 
John  Duke  of  Lancaster  may  have  within  the  county 
of  Lancaster  his  chancery  and  his  writs  to  be  sealed 
under  his  seal  to  be  deputed  for  the  office  of  chancery , 
his  justices  to  hold  as  well  the  pleas  of  the  Crown,  as  all 
other  pleas  whatsoever  touching  the  common  law  and 
the  cognizance  thereof,  and  all  manner  of  execution  to  be 
made  by  his  writs  and  his  ministers  there,  and  all  other 
liberties  and  jura  regaha  pertaining  to  a  Count  Pala 
tine,  as  freely  and  entirely  as  the  Earl  of  Chester  is 
well  known  to  obtain  within  the  County  of  Chester  " 

Certain  regaha,  however,  are  reserved  by  the  Crown 
The  Count  Palatine  shall  not  have  the  tenths  and  fif 
teenths  granted  by  Parliament  and  Convocation ,  his 
]urisdiction  shall  not  preclude  the  King  from  pardoning 
those  condemned  to  lose  life  or  limb ,  it  shall  not  derogate 
from  the  "  superiority  and  power  of  correcting  those  things 
which  shall  have  been  erroneously  done  in  the  Courts 
of  the  Count  Palatine,'*  In  other  words,  the  King  re 
serves  for  himself  Parliamentary  subsidies,  the  royal 
prerogative  of  pardon  and  royal  jurisdiction  in  cases  of 

1  Hardy,  Charters,  rx   (Feb  28,1377) 


All  other  regaha  are  handed  over  to  the  Duke  Not 
only,  the  grant  continues,  shall  the  Duke  nominate  his 
own  justices  ,  he  shall  also  choose  at  the  King's  mandate 
two  knights  of  the  shire  and  two  burgesses  for  every 
borough  to  sit  in  Parliament ,  he  shall  choose  and 
appoint  collectors  of  subsidies  voted  by  Parliament1 

From  February,  1377,  f°r  the  rest  of  the  Duke's  life, 
there  is  to  be  one  Court  of  Chancery  at  Westminster, 
and  another  at  Lancaster  Side  by  side  with  the  King's 
justices  are  the  justices  of  the  County  Palatine,  the 
nominees  of  the  Duke,  holding  office  by  and  during  his 

To  "  cut  off  all  ambiguity,"  and  to  make  general  terms 
clear  by  special  and  express  terms,  a  further  charter2 
declares  that  the  Count  Palatine  shall  have  his  Ex 
chequer  and  Barons  of  the  Exchequer  and  exercise 
within  the  county  all  manner  of  jurisdictions,  profits, 
and  commodities,  which  would  otherwise  have  pertained 
to  the  King  he  is  to  appoint  his  justices  in  eyre  for 
pleas  of  the  forest  and  all  other  justices  for  all  manner 
of  other  pleas  touching  the  assize  of  the  forest,  etc 

These  are  extensive  powers  For  the  life  of  the  Duke 
England  is  dismembered  For  all  purposes  of  justice, 
finance  and  administration  the  county  of  Lancaster  is 
severed  from  the  body  politic  Within  its  limits  the 
King  is  dethroned ,  the  Count  Palatine  is  set  up  in  his 
The  grant  is  for  life  Thirteen  years  later,  the  same 

1  For  the  Duke's  commissions  to  his  officers  to  levy  taxes  voted 
by  Parliament  in  West  Derbyshire,  Leylandshire,  Amounder- 
nesse,  Lonsdale,  Blackburnshire  and  Salfordshire,  see  Record 
Report,  xl  App  (No  4),  i83  30,  46,  53,  71 ,  and  for  the  selection 
of  the  Knights  of  the  Shire,  see  Register  passim 

In  every  county  except  Lancashire  the  sheriff  makes  proclama 
tions  on  the  royal  mandamus  The  sheriff  of  Lancaster  waits  for 
the  Duke's  mandamus  (ibid  8) 

3  Dated  November  10,  ^  Richard  II  (1378)  Hardy,  Charters, 
xni  Rot  Pat 



powers  are  entailed  with  the  title  of  Duke  of  Lancaster, 
upon  John  and  his  heirs  male  for  ever  1  So  long  as  the 
Duke's  issue  remains  the  dismemberment  of  England 
is  to  continue  It  was  unnecessary :  Richard  II,  who 
makes  the  grant  m  fee  tail,  loses  the  regaha  of  Lancaster, 
and  with  them  the  realm  of  England,  and  Henry,  third 
Duke  and  Count  Palatine  of  Lancaster,  is  Henry  IV  of 

Such  a  result  was  not  foreseen  by  the  dying  King,  whose 
last  political  act  had  been  to  give  his  assent  to  the  Charter 
of  February  28  ,  nor  by  those  who  were  present  when 
"  on  April  17,  1377,  at  the  Savoy,  near  Westminster, 
John,  King  of  Castile  and  Leon,  Duke  of  Lancaster, 
m  the  presence  of  Sir  Robert  de  Swylyngton,  Knight, 
Sir  Thomas  de  Hungerford,  Knight,  and  others  of 
the  same  King's  household,  m  the  chapel  built  within 
his  mansion  there  did  constitute  Thomas  de  Thelwall, 
Clerk,  his  Chancellor  within  the  Duchy  and  County  of 
Lancaster,  and  upon  his  taking  the  oath,  the  same 
King  with  his  own  hand  delivered  to  the  said  Thomas 
his  great  seal  for  the  governance  of  the  regality  of  the 
County  Palatine  "  * 

Three  days  later  the  new  Chancellor  set  the  great  seal 
to  the  first  writ  issuing  from  the  Chancery  of  John  of 
Gaunt — a  proclamation  notifying  to  the  Sheriff  of  Lan 
caster  the  names  of  the  Duke's  justices,  fixing  the  date 
of  the  sessions,  and  ordering  the  Sheriff  to  give  notice 
that  all  and  singular  peisons  wishing  to  prosecute  their 
business  before  the  justices  should  be  present  on  that 

The  first  of  the  twenty-two  years  of  Duke  John's 
regality  had  begun 

But  the  regaha  of  the  County  Palatine  do  not  exhaust 
the  extraordinary  powers  enjoyed  by  John  of  Gaunt  as  an 

1  Charter  dated  Feb  16,  1390    Hardy  Charters,  xiv 
3  Record  Report,  xxxii  App  (i) 



English  sub]ect  The  Palatine  franchises  are  sharply 
differentiated  from  the  others  ,  they  are  the  most  im 
portant,  but  they  are  confined  «to  the  territorial  limits 
of  the  County  of  Lancaster,  and  there  are  other  extra 
ordinary  liberties  and  franchises  to  be  considered,  for 
not  only  in  relation  to  England,  but  also  in  relation 
to  the  sum  total  of  the  Duke's  lands,  the  County  Palatine 
forms  an  ^mper^um  in  impeno. 

The  source  of  these  other  exceptional  liberties  is,  as 
before,  the  King's  grace  and  favour  .  they  are  built  up 
by  a  succession  of  royal  grants. 

By  charter,1  dated  May  7,  1342,  certain  exceptional 
franchises  had  been  granted  in  tail  to  Henry,  third 
Earl  of  Lancaster,  Seven  years  later  the  grant  was 
reconsidered  Henry,  son  of  the  grantee,  had  no  male 
issue  As  the  law  stood  the  lands  and  the  franchises 
which  they  carried  would  descend  to  his  daughters  and 
co-heirs,  Maude  and  Blanche  Both  were  mere 
children,  and  no  one  could  foretell  the  consequence  of 
their  marriage  It  was  not  surprising,  therefore,  that 
the  grant  appeared  to  have  been  made  to  the  "  exceeding 
damage  and  excessive  disherison  "  of  the  Crown,  The 
Earl  surrendered  the  grant-m-tail .  it  was  formally 
cancelled  and  annulled,  and  he  received  in  exchange 
a  similar  grant  for  life  only.3 

A  fresh  grant3  bestowed  the  same  franchises  on  John 
of  Gaunt  and  Blanche,  in  respect  of  their  share  of  the 
inheritance,  actual  and  prospective,  and,  further,  upon  the 
death  of  Maude  and  the  re-union  of  the  inheritance  the 
grant  was  extended  to  cover  her  share  also  * 

But  the  matter  was  not  allowed  to  rest  there.  The 
surrender  and  cancellation  of  the  charter  of  May  7,  1342, 

1  Hardy,  Charters,  i 
3  Ibid  n. 

3  Ibid  iv,  dated  November  13 1  1361 
*  Ibid.  v.  May  12,  1362. 


was,  of  course,  dictated  by  the  fear  of  allowing  an  ex 
tensive  source  of  wealth  and  power  to  descend  to  persons 
unknown,  perhaps  friends,  possibly  enemies  of  the 
Crown  Now  that  the  actual  course  of  events  had 
placed  the  lands  in  the  power  of  a  member  of  the  royal 
family,  the  danger  disappeared 

Hence  a  new  charter,1  declaring  the  surrender  by 
Earl  Henry,  and  consequent  cancellation  of  a  grant 
m  fee-tail  duly  passed  under  the  great  seal  of  England, 
to  be  null  and  void,  and  renewing  the  grant  to  John, 
Duke  of  Lancaster,  in  its  original  form  and  extent,  viz  , 
in  fee-tail,  and  applying  to  the  whole  of  the  lands  held 
by  the  original  grantee,  Earl  Henry,  on  May  7,  1342 

A  subsequent  charter J  dating,  be  it  noted,  from  the 
last  days  of  the  dying  King,  bestowed  upon  his  all- 
powerful  son  and  minister  similar  liberties  to  those  thus 
recovered  for  the  Lancastrian  lands,  in  respect  of  the  fiefs 
which  the  Duke  had  received  in  exchange  for  the  Honor 
of  Richmond 

Such  is  the  history  of  the  grants ;  now  for  the  franchises 
and  liberties  themselves 

The  golden  age  of  feudal  law  is,  by  the  middle  of  the 
fourteenth  century,  passing  away  if  it  is  not  past,  but 
still  the  mam  characteristic  of  feudal  ideas  holds  good . 
jurisdiction  and  property  have  not  yet  become  differen 
tiated  ;  in  surrendering  the  first  the  king  surrenders  the 
second  Edward  III  adds  to  his  son's  sources  of  income 
by  increasing  his  jurisdiction ,  in  giving  him  new  fran 
chises  he  gives  him  new  revenues 

To  name  these  franchises  runs  through  the  gamut  of 
feudal  tenure ,  their  names  exhaust  the  vocabulary  of 
the  law  books 

The  Duke  and  his  men  are  quit  of  paviage,  passage, 

1  Dated  July  14,  1364,  Hardy,  Charters,  vu 

2  Dated  June  4,  1377.    Hardy,  Charters,  x     Cf.  Parl.  Petition, 



payage,  lastage,  stallage,  tallage,  carnage,  pesage,  picage, 
and  groundage  He  has  the  return  of  all  writs  and  summons 
of  the  Exchequer  ,  attachment  of  pleas  of  "  withernam  " 
and  pleas  of  the  Crown  and  of  all  pleas  whatever  ,  he  has 
fines  and  amercements,  fines  for  licence  to  agree,  chattels 
of  felons,  fugitives,  and  condemned  persons ,  infangthef 
and  outfangthef,  year,  day,  waste,  estrepements  and 
murders,  assay  and  assize  of  wine  and  bread,  waifs  and 
strays,  wreck  flotsam  and  jetsam,  deodand,  and  that  most 
coveted  of  royal  liberties — treasure  trove  To  deal  with 
these  terms  which  denote  rights,  some  of  which  have 
passed  away  and  some  of  which  are  with  us  still,  in  the 
concrete — this  is  what  they  mean 

If  any  of  the  Duke's  men  or  tenants  "  made  fine,"  or 
were  amerced  in  any  of  the  royal  courts,  wheresoever 
it  might  be,  the  fines  and  amercements  went  not  to  the 
King  but  to  the  Duke  Needless  to  add,  the  Duke's 
men  and  tenants,  like  the  men  of  other  tenants  in  chief, 
were  being  amerced  in  the  King's  courts  on  all  possible 
occasions.  If  any  of  the  Duke's  men  were  convicted  of 
felony,  or  fled  from  justice,  "  not  being  willing  to  stand 
his  trial,"  or  if  for  any  cause  he  were  condemned  to  lose 
life,  limb,  or  chattels,  those  chattels,  which,  without  proof 
of  a  claim  of  franchise,  would  have  gone  to  the  King's 
exchequer,  went  in  virtue  of  this  grant  to  the  Duke 

It  must  be  remembered  here  that  in  the  fourteenth 
century  felony  was  by  no  means  the  comparatively  rare 
offence  which  it  has  become  to  later  law  ;  convictions  of 
felony  are  matters  of  constant  occurrence.  High  and  low, 
layman  and  cleric,  found  themselves  condemned  on  a 
charge  of  felony ,  or  else,  "  not  willing  to  stand  their 
trial,"  fled  from  the  arm  of  the  law — if  they  could  not 
reach  sanctuary— to  the  woods.  The  Duke's  register 
and  the  patent  rolls  of  the  Palatinate  under  his  regality, 
for  the  years  which  they  cover,  are  crowded  with 
instances  ,  usually  the  felony  was  pardoned,  and  pardon, 



it  goes  without  saying,  meant  a  consideration  to  the 
Duke's  exchequer. 

Again  the  Duke  and  his  men  and  tenants  are  quit  of 
the  oppressive  tolls  which  like  many  other  forms  of 
indirect  taxation  were  more  successful  m  hindering  com 
merce  than  in  benefiting  the  Exchequer. 

Once  more  .  no  sheriff,  bailiff,  or  other  royal  officer 
could  enter  the  lands  and  fees  of  the  Duke  (within  the 
limits  prescribed  by  the  charters)  to  exact  the  writs 
and  summonses  of  the  King's  exchequer  and  to  make 
attachment  of  pleas,  this, save  in  the  case  of  default,  being 
done  by  the  Duke's  officers 

So  far  we  have  been  dealing  with  the  exceptional 
liberties  and  franchises,  sources  of  revenue  and  sources 
of  power,  enjoyed  by  John  of  Gaunt,  including  both  those 
confined  to  the  County  Palatine  of  Lancaster  and  those 
pertaining  to  the  whole  of  the  lands  held  by  him  in  chief 

Both  these  are  exceptional  in  the  sense  that  they  were 
called  into  existence  by  specific  royal  grant ,  without 
such  acts  of  royal  favour  they  would  not  have  existed, 
at  least  not  for  the  Duke 

Now  let  us  consider  the  ordinary  sources  of  revenue 
and  power  which  the  land  carried  with  it  If  wealth 
were  merely  the  power  of  commanding  pleasures  and 
comforts,  this  would  scarcely  be  worth  doing,  but  in 
this  age  wealth  and  political  power  were  intimately 
associated  with  each  other,  and  a  survey  of  the  Duke's 
estates  is  a  survey  of  his  power  It  explains  an  im 
portance  which  otherwise  he  would  not  have  possessed, 
and  it  shows  by  the  way  the  extraordinary  number  of 
people  who  in  one  way  or  another,  directly  or  indirectly, 
found  their  lives  and  their  fortunes  bound  up  with  those  of 
the  great  Duke  of  Lancaster 

We  are  now  examining  the  first  head  in  the  ducal  budget 
— issues  of  land  in  England  and  Wales * 

1  See  Appendix  iv  p.  447. 


These,  the  ordinary  sources  of  revenue,  are  three : 
feudal  incidents,  ordinary  feudal  jurisdiction,  and  the 
profits  issuing  from  the  land  itself  and  the  things  on 

John  of  Gaunt  still  receives  the  old  feudal  profits 
incident  alike  to  the  life  of  the  tenant  and  to  the  life 
of  the  lord 

When  Henry,  Earl  of  Derby,  is  eleven  years  old,  the 
Duke  levies  an  aid  "  for  knighting  his  eldest  son."  i  In 
1372,  when  every  baron  of  England  is  preparing  for  the 
military  expedition  which  failed  so  ignomimously  to 
relieve  Thouars,  the  Duke  levies  an  aid  "pour  fille 
maner"  a  though  at  the  time  Philippa  of  Lancaster  was 
twelve  years  old  and  there  was  no  question  of  betrothing 
her.  Again,  more  than  once  when  the  French  wars  had 
drained  even  the  Duke's  resources  to  the  dregs,  and  when 
he  had  borrowed  wherever  money  was  to  be  raised,  the 
Duke  levies  a  general  aid  from  all  his  tenants  in  "  relief 
of  his  great  necessities  "  A  reasonable  aid  is  asked  of 
the  free  tenants  as  an  act  of  grace ;  the  Duke  orders  his 
bondmen  to  be  seized  with  their  chattels  until  they  have 
satisfied  his  officers.3 

Again,  on  the  other  hand,  every  tenant  holding  of  the 
Duke  paid  a  ct  relief  "  on  succeeding  to  his  lands  ;  at  his 
death  the  wardship  of  his  lands  and  of  his  heir  or  heiress 
passed  to  the  overlord.  This  wardship  was  an  asset :  it 
could  be  farmed  for  so  many  marcs  down,  or  it  could 
be  used  instead  of  a  pension  or  gift  to  reward  faithful 
service  The  marriage  equally  had  a  money  value  :  if 
passion  beguiled  a  minor  into  matrimony  without  the 

1  Record  Report,  xxxii  App  (i),  1 6,  mandate  to  the  sheriff 
dated  May  20,  second  year  of  the  regality,  i  e  1378 

a  Reg  I  f  51 

s  In  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster  bondmen  preserved  their  servile 
condition  longer  as  a  class  than  in  any  other  part  of  England 
Large  numbers  were  emancipated  in  the  reign  of  Elizabeth,  on 
payment  of  an  extortionate  fine  to  a  royal  patentee 



Duke's  permission,  he  must   sue  for  pardon  and  pay  a 

With  the  feudal  incidents  goes  feudal  jurisdiction. 
Wherever  among  the  Duke's  innumerable  manors  the 
manorial  court  is  held  its  profits  belong  to  him ; 
often  the  jurisdiction  of  a  group  of  manors  has  become 
absorbed  in  that  of  the  hundred  or  wapentake .  the 
Duke  has  hundreds  and  wapentakes  and  takes  the 
profits  of  their  courts 

Again  we  must  not  forget  that  the  Duke  is  one  of  the 
largest  proprietors  of  ecclesiastical  patronage  in  England  • 
there  are  plentifully  scattered  up  and  down  the  Duke's 
lands,  abbeys,  priories,  hospitals  and  churches,  to  which 
the  Duke  presents,  and  in  such  cases  the  new  Prior  or 
Abbot  must,  unless  a  charter  of  immunity  can  be 
produced,  pay  a  rehef  to  Lancaster  as  lord.3 

Lastly,  we  come  to  the  land  itself 

The  Duke's  interest  consists,  as  usual,  in  the  profits  to 
be  derived  from  the  demesne  lands,  and  the  right  to 
claim  certain  services  or  certain  rents  or  both  from 
tenants  free  and  unfree. 

But  John  of  Gaunt' s  rent  roll  is  not  a  simple  affair  : 
as  well  as  the  "  free  customs  and  liberties,"  and  in 
addition  to  the  "  manors,  hundreds,  and  wapentakes," 
there  are  the  issues  of  "hamlets,  meadows,  pannage, 
herbage,  fisheries,  moors,  marshes,  turbaries,  chaces, 
parks,  woods  and  warrens,  fairs  and  markets." 

The  Duke  being  lord  of  some  hundreds  of  manors  was 
necessarily  an  absentee  landlord,  and  it  may  be  of  interest 
to  observe  the  fiscal  machinery  whereby  he  was  able 
to  receive  these  complicated  "  issues  of  lands  in  England 
and  Wales  " 

1  Record  Report,  xl  App  No.  4,  29,  71,  etc, 

2  Sedes  vacantes  ought,  of  course,  normally  to  be  ^n  manu  Regis, 
but  m  one  of  two  cases  the  Duke  got  the  profits,  e  g  Hertford 
Reg  II.  1  55.     Cf  II  f   30 



He  might  put  a  bailiff  or  provost  in  charge  of  a  manor 
or  a  group  of  manors,  and  this  officer  would  account 
directly  for  its  proceeds,  or  he  might  lease  its  profits 
"  at  farm "  for  a  money  rent  Following  the  usual 
practice,  the  Duke  combined  both  systems  as  occasion 
served.  He  leased  the  manor  in  most  cases  for  a  money 
rent,  i  e  the  lessee  paid  so  much  per  annum  to  the  Duke 
and  took  the  ordinary  profits ,  but  when  the  lease  expired, 
or  when  for  one  reason  or  another  a  lease  was  inexpedient, 
he  farmed  the  demesne  land  through  a  reeve  or  bailiff, 
In  both  cases,  of  course,  the  seignonal  perquisites  accrued 
to  the  Duke,  being  m  normal  cases  outside  the  terms 
of  the  lease 

This  raises  the  further  question,  Who  were  the  officers 
responsible  for  the  administration  of  the  great  Lancas 
trian  estates  P 

The  men  of  the  highest  rank  in  the  Duke's  service 
were  those  who  kept  his  castles  and  his  forests 

More  than  thirty  castles  were  held  by  John  of  Gaunt 
in  fee,  and  as  if  these  were  not  enough  he  had  also  the 
ward  of  three  royal  castles — Chester,  Hereford,  and 

Down  m  the  South,  in  the  Honor  of  Eagle,  lay  the 
Conqueror's  old  castle  of  Pevensey,  an  important  post 
when  year  after  year  privateers  from  Normandy  came 
over  to  harry  the  Sussex  coast 

Queenborough,1  began  by  Edward  III  rn  1361,  was  in  the 
Duke's  custody3  It  commanded  the  entrance  to  the 
Thames,  and  formed  one  of  the  strongest  naval  bases 
on  the  Kentish  coast 

Hertford  was  not  a  strong  place ,  the  rebels  did  what 
they  hked  there  in  1381  Being  primarily  residential 
and  not  military,  the  castle  had  no  constable,  but  was 

1  1361    Rex  abundans  auro  coepit  aedificare  castrum  insigne  in 
insula  Shipey      Cont  Eulog  333 

2  Reg  II.  f  120 



placed  under  the  bailiff  who  had  the  management  of  the 

With  these  three  exceptions,  Pevensey,  Queenborough, 
and  Hertford,  the  Duke's  castles  lay  in  the  North  and 
West  They  fall  into  three  great  groups,  those  of  the 
Welsh  border,  the  Midlands,  and  the  North.  Draw  a 
line  across  England  from  the  mouth  of  the  Severn  to  the 
Wash,  and  to  the  north  of  it  there  are  scarcely  a  score 
strongholds  of  importance  out  of  the  Duke's  hands 

In  Monmouthshire,  Whitecastle,  Monmouth,  Skenfnth, 
and  Grosmont  form  a  buttress  against  the  Welsh — the 
last  bound  up  in  more  ways  than  one  with  the  story  of 
the  Lancastrian  House,  for  at  Grosmont  the  Good  Duke 
Henry  was  born,  and  its  Welsh  name  Rhoslwyn,  the 
castle  on  the  rose-clad  hill,  first  suggested,  it  is  said,  the 
red  rose  of  Lancaster 

These  four  castles  are  flanked  on  the  north  by  Hereford, 
impregnable  in  its  marshes,  another  royal  castle  in  the 
Duke's  ward ,  on  the  south  by  the  strongholds  of  Car 
marthen  and  Glamorgan — Kidwelly,  Iskenuyn,  Carreg 
Cennen,  and  Ogmore.  In  the  days  when  Welsh  dis 
affection  had  been  a  standing  menace  to  the  peace  of 
the  realm,  the  command  of  these  places  had  been  a 
matter  of  the  first  importance  ,  now  Wales  was  pacified, 
but  the  Duke  always  kept  a  firm  grip  of  them  No 
sooner  has  the  news  of  the  rising  reached  him,  in  June, 
1381,  than  a  courier  is  riding  in  hot  haste  to  the  south 
to  warn  the  constables  of  his  castles  on  the  Welsh  border. 

Leaving  Hereford,  if  Lancaster  rode  round  the  southern 
bend  of  the  Malvern  hills,  where  William  Langland  as  a 
young  man  had  dreamt  dreams  and  seen  the  vision  of 
Piers  the  Ploughman,  past  Evesham,  where  his  great 
grandfather  had  crushed  Simon  de  Montfort ;  or  again, 
if  he  rode  to  the  north  across  Worcestershire  by  the 
Shropshire  border,  he  would  find  himself  once  more 
within  range  of  his  own  strong  walls — the  second  group, 



the  castles  of  the  Midlands  stretching  out  with  unbroken 
continuity  to  the  North 

Tutbury,  Newcastle-under-Lyme,  Halton,  Chester  (the 
third  royal  castle  held  in  ward),  Kemlworth  and  Leicester, 
Melbourne  and  the  High  Peak,  Higham  Ferrers,  Lin 
coln  and  Bolmgbroke,  Liverpool,  Clitheioe,  Lancaster 
and  Hornby,  Tickhill,  Pontefract,  Knaresborough,  and 
Pickering — all  these  were  garrisoned  by  the  Duke's 
men,  and  held  by  his  officers,  and  far  up  in  the  North 
his  banner  waved  from  the  walls  of  Dunstanburgh  in 
the  midst  of  the  Percy  country,  and  Liddell  by  the  Scottish 
border  This  represents  a  power  which  no  other 
feudatory  of  the  Crown  could  rival,  and  more  than 
once  Lancaster  was  to  find  his  castles  a  very  present 
help  in  time  of  trouble  To  each  castle  he  appointed 
a  constable,  a  knight  or  esquire  who  was  entitled 
to  the  wages  of  his  office,  "  with  twenty  shillings 
for  a  robe "  of  the  Duke's  livery,  and  two  pence  a 
day  for  a  porter.  The  constable  was  responsible 
for  the  military  efficiency  of  his  castle ;  he  stocked 
it  with  artillery  and  saw  that  his  garrison  had  bows 
and  sheaves  of  arrows  enough  :  he  superintended  the 
repairs  of  its  walls  and  the  new  works  planned  by  his 
master — the  most  lavish  and  inveterate  builder  of  his 
age  In  times  of  danger  he  answered  for  it  that  no  one 
passed  the  gates  without  express  mandate  under  the 
Duke's  privy  seal  In  time  of  peace  and  quiet,  too,  he 
might  have  the  ward  of  civil  prisoners,  defaulting 
debtors  and  other  evildoers,  until  the  justices  in  eyre 
arrived  and  assizes  claimed  their  victims 

The  ward  of  castles  being  a  military  service  ranks  first 
m  dignity,  but  next  to  the  profession  of  arms  venery  is  the 
most  serious  and  respected  pursuit  of  the  times 

Was  there  ever  a  Plantagenet  who  did  not  love  the 
deer  ?  John  Plantagenet  was  no  degenerate  scion  of 
the  race  whose  passion  for  hunting  is  written  plain  in 


.-•C   A    R   M   A  R   T   HX£   N      • 

'•---.         S       U)    F       FT      O       L        K 




Manors  orljands, vndieatecl  thu-s • 

Hundreds  or  WapentaJtes, —         «  ••       ^B 

Jfonors, • ••  -       '    0 

A.drowr3ons  of  Churches  orBeltgioi&s  ffotises          ••       - "t 

t  Stan  font,  Ltd. 


The  O*A>nf  Geographical  Intt. 

.-•    "°""°''q$rL^\r    ^r 


the  harsh  letter  of  the  English  forest  law.  The  Duke  has 
forests,  chaces,  parks  and  warrens,  north  and  south  and 
west,  from  the  Chace  of  Ashdown  in  the  Honor  of  Eagle, 
to  the  forest  of  Liddell,  far  away  in  the  North,  "  called 
Nichol  forest "  ; 1  from  the  woods  of  Glamorgan  to  the 
Chaces  of  Needwood  and  the  High  Peak  and  the  great 
forests  of  Yorkshire  and  Lancashire  To  keep  them  he 
has  in  his  pay  an  army  of  forest  officers,  kmghts)  esquires, 
and  yeomen  (for  this  is  no  clerk's  work),  fighting  men  one 
and  all,  though  varying  in  dignity  and  degree,  from  the 
humble  freeman  who  holds  the  moiety  of  the  office  of 
parker,  through  the  warden  of  a  chace,  to  deputy  foresters, 
foresters,  and  foresters  in  chief 

At  the  head  of  the  hierarchy  stands  that  gallant 
soldier  and  best  of  sportsmen,  Sir  Walter  Ursewyk,  the 
man  whom  Lancaster  had  made  knight  on  the  battle 
field  of  Najera,  and  whose  courage  and  devotion  raised  him 
from  the  rank  of  a  humble  esquire  to  the  highest  positions 
of  trust  in  the  Lancastrian  household.  Sir  Walter  is 
justice  of  the  forests  in  the  Duchy  and  County  Palatine 
of  Lancaster ,  he  is  forester  in  chief  of  all  the  chaces  m 
Blackburnshire,Trawden,Pendle,  Rossendale,  Tottmgton, 
and  Hoddlesden  ,  he  has  letters  patent  under  the  Duke's 
privy  seal  appointing  him  master  of  all  the  Duke's 
games,  sports,  and  hunting,3  and  he  has  jurisdiction  over 
all  the  forest  officers  high  and  low,  even  over  men  like 
Sir  John  Marmion,  a  Kmght  Banneret,  who  keeps  the 
Chace  of  Knaresborough  These  forest  officers  have  the 
most  varied  duties  ,  they  enclose  parks  and  stock  them 
with  bucks  and  does ;  they  look  to  the  underwood 
and  trees,  settle  complicated  questions  of  agistment, 
and  doubtless,  and  do  not  forget  the  tithes  pan 
nage  ;  at  the  Duke's  mandate  they  make  presents 
of  venison  or  timber,  for,  as  m  the  royal  economy 

1  Reg  II  f  119 

2  Reg  I  53 



itself,  not  a  buck  can  be  taken  from  his  forests, 
not  an  oak  or  sapling  from  his  woods  for  timber,  not  a 
bundle  of  brushwood  for  fuel  without  a  warrant  under  the 
privy  seal,  and  even  the  bream  and  luce  in  his  fishponds 
and  the  conies  in  his  warrens  are  numbered  Above  all, 
their  duty  is  to  see  that  no  "  evildoers  or  sons  of  iniquity  " 
hunt  in  the  Duke's  forests,1  chaces  or  parks  without  his 
licence ,  even  to  kill  a  hare  without  a  due  permit  brings 
down  on  the  hapless  offender  the  full  weight  of  the 
ducal  displeasure,  and  a  trespass  of  venison  is  among  the 
mortal  sins 

In  the  duke's  lands  there  were,  it  appears,  many  that 
left  the  rule  of  "  Semte  Maure  "  or  "  Semt  Beneit  "  to 
follow  St  Hubeit — in  his  unregenerate  days — men  who 

ff  Yaf  nat  of  that  text  a  pulled  hen, 
That  seith,  that  hunters  been  not  holy  men  '* 

At  least,  they  are  to  be  found  among  those  guilty  of 
forest  trespass  One  at  least  was  forgiven  ; 3  for  what 
ever  Wychffe  might  think,  John  of  Gaunt  at  least  pre 
ferred  a  sporting  parson  to  a  political  bishop ! 

Before  we  leave  the  army  of  forest  officers,  the  grooms 
who  kept  the  Duke's  horses,  ambling  palfreys  ridden  by 
Dame  Catherine  Swynford  and  her  charges,  Phihppa  and 
Elizabeth,  and  great  destriers  for  the  Duke's  own  use, 
and  the  boys  who  keep  his  hounds,  the  falconers  deserve 
a  mention  There  was  a  whole  staff  of  them  under  Anthony 
the  head  falconer,  a  person  of  importance,  for  his  yearly 
wages  are  £10,  as  much  as  the  retaining  fee  of  an  esquire ! 

Hunting,  coursing,  and  hawking— for  all  these  the 
Lancastrian  household  was  well  equipped  Men  might 
question  the  Duke's  political  principles,  but  no  one  could 
deny  that  he  was  a  keen  sportsman 

His  castles  and  forests  provided  the  Duke  with  a 

1  Reg  I  f  150 

2  Reg  II  f  131 



possible  refuge  in  times  of  danger,  and  the  means  of 
gratifying  a  predominant  passion  the  lands  and  fran 
chises,  which  provided  the  sinews  of  wars,  were  adminis 
tered  by  officers  equally  useful  if  less  interesting 
They  fall  into  three  classes — feoders,  stewards  and 
bailiffs,  and  receivers  It  was  of  course  quite  possible 
for  one  man  to  hold  several  offices  .  the  Constable  of 
Liverpool  Castle  was  also  a  forester  and  the  steward  of  a 
wapentake  In  an  out-of-the-way  and  self-contained 
lordship,  like  that  of  Dunstanburgh,  the  same  man  was 
steward,  receiver,  and  constable  of  the  castle  But  in 
normal  cases  there  was  a  receiver,  and  a  steward,  and  a 
feoder  for  each  county  or  group  of  counties,  and  the 
individuals  who  held  these  offices  were  sharply  distin 
guished  one  from  the  other ,  for  while  the  receiver  is  almost 
always  a  "  clerk,"  the  steward  and  feoder  are  knights 
or  esquires 

The  "  issues  of  lands  in  England  and  Wales  "  are,  as 
we  have  seen,  those  arising  from  extraordinary  franchises, 
from  feudal  incidents,  from  seignonal  jurisdiction,  and 
from  money  rents  or  profits 

A  desire  for  completeness  and  symmetry  would  lead 
us  to  suppose  a  priori  that  the  feoder  or  "  warden  of  fees 
and  franchises "  would  deal  with  the  extraordinary 
franchises  and  the  incidents  of  feudal  tenure,  and  the 
steward  and  bailiff  with  the  profits  of  jurisdiction  and 
money  rents  ;  but  in  point  of  fact,  this  distinction  cannot 
be  maintained,  and  in  many  cases  the  duties  of  the  first 
and  second  are  interchangeable 

The  feoder  and  steward  distrain  for  homage  on  the  lands 
of  those  who  hold  of  the  Duke  by  knight's  service  they 
supersede  distress  and  deliver  seisin  of  lands  at  the  Duke's 
warrant,  homage  done ,  on  a  tenant's  death  they  take 
possession  of  the  heir  and  his  lands  and  tenements  until 
their  master  has  signified  his  pleasure  as  to  the  wardship 
of  the  heir  and  his  lands  ,  they  levy  and  collect  aids,  and 



they  are  responsible  for  the  franchises  granted  by  royal 

If  a  ship  is  wrecked  on  the  coasts  of  Lincoln  or  Lanca 
shire  they  seize  the  wreck  and  sell  it  for  their  master's 
profit,  unless,  as  sometimes  happens,  the  owners  belong 
to  some  powerful  trading  company  having  interest  at 
the  Savoy,  when  they  restore  the  wreck  to  the  owner 
They  collect  the  profits  of  the  Duke's  court  in  manor, 
hundred  and  wapentake,  or  where  these  have  been  fanned, 
they  see  that  the  ferm  is  handed  over  with  their  other 
moneys  to  the  receiver. 

This  officer  is  the  centre  of  the  Lancastrian  fiscal 
system  The  receipt  (a  county,  or  a  group  of  counties) 
is  the  unit  of  the  financial  administration,  and  illus 
trates  its  great  merit,  decentralization — devolution  of 
work  and  responsibility.  For  the  receiver  is  not  merely 
the  channel  by  which  the  "  issues  of  lands  in  England 
and  Wales  "  reach  the  Savoy ;  he  receives  with  one 
hand  while  with  the  other  he  defrays  the  costs  of 
administration  He  pays  the  wages  of  steward,  bailiff 
and  feeder,  and  of  so  many  knights  and  esquires  of  the 
Duke's  retinue.  His  surplus  moneys,  less  these  wages,  he 
surrenders  to  the  Duke's  chief  financial  officer,  the 
Receiver  General  Thus  the  Receiver  General's  accounts 
only  show  a  tithe  of  his  income  and  expenditure,  viz., 
the  net  proceeds  of  the  Lancastrian  estates,  less  the  cost 
of  administration  and  considerable  other  payments 

But  decentralization  is  not  enough  without  super 
vision  Hence  the  itinerant  officers,  whose  task  it  is  to 
see  that  the  various  local  officers  do  their  duty  There 
are  chief  stewards — three  in  number — men  of  rank, 
always  knights  bachelor,  who  go  on  circuit  and 
exercise  a  general  supervision.  For  the  purpose  of 
this  supervision  the  Trent  is  the  dividing  line  ,  one  works 
over  the  Duke's  lands  south  of  Trent  and  in  Wales, 
one  "  north  of  Trent  "  for  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster,  Stafford 



and  Derby,  one  for  the  other  northern  lands.  Finally, 
following  the  same  divisions,  there  are  the  auditors, 
clerks  of  course,  who  check  the  accounts  of  each 
receiver,  examine  the  warrants  which  are  his  vouchers 
for  each  item  of  expenditure,  see  that  no  greedy  feoder 
is  exacting  more  than  the  accustomed  wages  of  his  office, 
and  that  no  unjust  steward  or  bailiff  has  taken  his  bill 
and  written  fifty  marcs  where  eighty  are  due. 

Finally  there  is  the  Duke's  Council,  a  definite  and 
formal  body,  who  help  him  in  the  administration  of  his 
estates.  Under  the  presidency  of  the  chief  of  the  council 
(in  1377  Sir  John  d'Ypres,  one  of  the  Duke's  retainers), 
accompanied  by  the  clerk  to  the  Council,  they  go  on 
progress  through  the  Lancastrian  lands,  listening  to 
the  petitions  of  aggneved  tenants,  settling  questions 
of  disputed  ownership,  respiting  demands  on  a  farmer 
in  arrear  with  his  ferm  or  a  minister  in  arrear  with  his 
accounts,  acting  in  short  as  a  final  court  of  appeal,  to  which 
all  causes  may  be  brought,  and  thus  becoming  the  custod 
ians  of  the  Duke's  good  name  for  clemency  and  justice 
The  Duke's  councillors  too  are  men  of  substance  ,  they 
go  surety  for  his  debts. 

Leaving  the  local  and  subordinate  officers,  let  us  go  to 
headquarters  and  ask :  What  did  Lancaster  do  with 
the  great  wealth  at  his  command  ?  This  takes  us  to 
the  Receiver  General,  the  keystone  in  the  arch  of  Lancas 
ter's  financial  system  The  Receiver  General,  a  highly 
paid  officer  who  has  his  own  official  residence,  finds  the 
funds  for  the  three  great  spending  departments — the 
Household,  Wardrobe  and  Privy  Purse.  At  intervals, 
by  warrant  under  the  privy  seal,  he  pays  to  the  Treasurer 
of  the  Household,  the  Clerk  of  the  Great  Wardrobe  and 
the  Clerk^of  Privy  Expenses,  the  sums  necessary  for 
their  departments,  and  even  these,  large  as  they  are, 
do  not  exhaust  their  expenditure,  for  the  issues  of  certain 
lands  and  lordships  are  "  appropriated  in  aid "  of  the 



several  departments  and  paid  over  direct     The  Lancas 
trian  household  is  unique     No  other  in  England  can 
rival  it ,  it  rivals  that  of  the  King     The  Duke  aspired 
to  the  command  of  English  armies  and  the    control  of 
foreign  relations     He  must  therefore  maintain  a  state 
to  correspond   with  his  position     Whenever  a  king  or 
prince  visits  King  Edward's  court,  the  welcome  at  the 
Savoy  must  equal  that  of  Westminster  Palace       The 
sovereignty  of  Castile  must  be  brought  home  to  English 
man  and  foreigner     Emigre  Spanish  knights,  the  Spanish 
ladies  of  Queen's  Constance  court,  or  Portuguese  envoys 
must  realize  that  they  are  enjoying  the  hospitality  of 
one  who  is  not  only  the  first  subject  of  King  Edward, 
but  the  legitimate  heir  of  Don  Pedro     Hence  a  lavish 
expenditure  upon  the  household     Like  the  King,  the 
Duke  has  his  Chamberlain,  Steward,  and  Controller  of  the 
Household ,  all  these  are  men  of  position      His  chief 
butler  and  paneter,  who  has  charge  of    "  all  things  per 
taining  to  the  butlery,  pantry,  ewery  and  saucery  "  is  an 
esquire  ;  so  is  his  master  cook     Beneath  their  command 
they  have  a  force  of  poulterers,  achatours,  purveyors,  etc 
The  mere  cost   of   living  was  enormous     It  must  not 
be  forgotten  that  the  fourteenth  century  was  an  age  of 
decadence     Doubtless  the  influence  of  the  French  wars 
explained  much      Human  life  counted   for  little,  but 
while  men  lived  it  was  as  though  each  man  said  "  Let 
us  eat  and  drink,  for  to-morrow  we  die !  "     Hence  the 
strange  and  appalling  contrasts  *    a  profusion  of  wealth 
side  by  side    with    the   extremes  of  poverty ,    a  wild 
luxury    side    by    side   with   want   and   misery       Gul& 
had  long  since  taken  its   place  beside  amdia    in   the 
official  catalogue  of  monastic  sins,  but  now  gluttony 
invades   every    rank    of    society     In   vain  Parliament 
enacts  that  the  common   people   shall    not   wear  furs, 
and  prescribes  the  legal  number    of   dishes   according 
to  each  man's  degree      Sumptuary  laws  serve   not   to 



alter  but  to  chronicle  the  vices  of  their  age,  and 
it  is  significant  that  in  this  age  the  poets  go  to  the 
kitchen  for  their  metaphors,  and  borrow  from 
the  menu  terms  to  describe  the  entanglements  of  the 
"grande  passion."1  Against  extravagances  of  dress, 
those  bizarre  and  fantastic  devices  of  fashion,  which  give 
to  the  costumes  of  the  period  such  a  quaint  picturesque- 
ness,  the  puritans  of  the  period  lay  and  clerical 
protested,  but  protested  in  vain.  In  vain  the  moral 
Gower  mixed  his  breath  with  the  popular  cry  ,  society 
turned  a  deaf  ear  2  Even  the  Church  was  divided  against 
itself,  for  some  of  the  worst  offenders  of  Edward's  lavish 
court  were  the  "religious,"  who,  discarding  the  seemly 
dark  raiment  of  their  orders,  vied  with  courtiers  no  more 
worldly  than  themselves  in  the  brilliance  of  their  slashed 
doublets,  dyed  ruffs  and  sweeping  gowns. 

When  in  the  house  of  a  simple  franklin  it "  snowed  meat 
and  drink,"  when  mere  knights  put  the  rent  of  a  manor 
into  one  garment,  what  wonder  that  there  was  luxury 
and  profusion  in  the  household  of  the  greatest  magnate 
of  the  realm  ?  The  possessions  of  which  the  Clerk  of  the 
Wardrobe  had  charge  were  priceless,  and  the  furs  and  cloth 
of  gold  which  John  of  Gaunt  gives  to  the  Queen  his  consort 
are  worth  a  king's  ransom ;  while  for  the  charge  of  the 
pearls,  diamonds,  rubies,  sapphires  and  emeralds  in  the 
Savoy,  a  whole  staff  of  warders  under  a  yeoman  of  the 
jewels  is  necessary. 

But  if  the  Duke  spent  freely  on  himself  he  spent  as 
freely  on  others  The  bulk  of  the  sums  handed  to  him 
for  his  secret  expenses  by  the  Clerk  of  the  Privy  Purse 

1  Was  never  pyk  walwed  in  gahmtyne 
As  I  in  love  am  walwed  and  y-wounde 
Chaucer.    To  Ros&moundet  17-18. 

2  Gower,  On  the  Corruptions  oi  the  Age — "  Contramentis  Saevi- 
ham  tn  causa  superbtae "  Political  poems,  i.  350,  Cf.  the 
Chronicles  passim, 



went  m  presents  ;  he  had  his  Almoner  en  t^tre)  who  every 
Friday  disbursed  ten  shillings,  and  twelve  and  sixpence 
every  Saturday  to  the  poor,  but  this  does  not  exhaust  his 
almsgiving  The  Duke  is  above  all  things  a  cheerful 
giver  He  is  not  guilty  of  the  sins  of  omission,  and  the 
official  charity  of  the  Almoner  is  supplemented  by  his 
master  in  person 

Enough  has  been  said  to  form  a  rough  estimate  of  the 
numbers  of  the  Duke's  officers ;  the  whole  army  cannot 
be  reviewed.    There  are  many  of  importance  of  which 
a  bare  mention  must  suffice  ;  the  legal  officers  for  instance, 
the  ministers  in  the  King's  court  at  Westminster,  Attorney 
General,  sergeants,  attorneys  in  Chancery,  and  Exchequer, 
King's  Bench  and  Common  Pleas,  clerk  of  estreats  and 
apposer,  clerk  of  the  marshalsea,  and  the  rest ,  there 
is  the  Duke's  "  mire  and  surgeon,"  who,  like  the  fighting 
men,  accompanies  him  to  the  field  and  receives  in  war 
double   his   accustomed   wages ;   there   are    clanoners, 
buglers  and  minstrels,  some   of  whom  are  incorporate 
by  ducal  charter,  under  the  King  of  the  Minstrels     Once 
at  least  they  forget  to  be  merry,  for  there  is  a  general 
strike  among  the  Duke's  minstrels  and  he  has  to  take 
severe  measures  to  restore  order  *    There  is  the  Master 
of  the  Duke's  barge, cwith  his  crew  of  eight  oars,  who  row 
the  Duke  on  the  Thames  between  the  Savoy  and  West 
minster,  and  once  stand  him  in  good  stead  when  the 
London  mob  is  at  his  heels  and  he  has  to  fly  for  safety  to 
Kenmngton  3  and  there  is  Lancaster  Herald,  a  person 
of  international  importance,  for  it  will  be   his  task  to 
proclaim   through  Europe  the  challenge  of    Regnault 
de  Roye  at  the  Jousts  of  St.  Ingelvert    There  are,  too, 
the  officers  of  the  separate  establishments  of  the  Queen 
Consort — for  Constance  has  her  own  treasurer  and  clerk 
of  the  wardrobe — of  the  young  Earl  of  Derby  and  of 
Katharine  of  Lancaster,    under   the    charge    of  Lady 

a  Reg  II.  f  117 


de  Mohun,  and  Philippa  and  Elizabeth  under  the  charge 
of  Dame  Katharine  Swynford.    These  we  must  leave, 
and  pass  to  the  highest  dignitary  and  the  most  significant 
members  of  Lancaster's  household — his  Chancellor  an 
his  Retinue. 

The  Chancellor  is  always  in  orders,  sometimes  like 
Ralf  de  Erghum,  Bishop  of  Salisbury,  a  man  of  high 
ecclesiastical  rank,  He  is  the  Duke's  councillor  in  chief, 
the  guardian  of  his  secrets  and  the  keeper  of  his  seals. 
He  is  altogether  superior  to  the  Chancellor  of  the  County 
Palatine,  who  holds  the  "  magnum  sigillum  pro  regimrne 
regalitatis."  The  Duke's  Chancellor  keeps  the  "  great 
silver  seal  with  the  arms  of  Spam/'  while  for  the  privy 
seal  he  has  under  him  a  Keeper  of  the  Privy  Seal  specially 
deputed  for  that  office.  Through  his  hands  pass  the 
most  important  documents  that  issue  from  the  Savoy, 
the  treaties  with  foreign  powers,  to  which  Lancaster  as 
envoy  extraordinary  and  plenipotentiary  or  as  indepen 
dent  potentate  is  a  signatory. 

Lastly  we  reach  the  apex  of  the  structure  and  the 
crown  of  the  Lancastrian  Household  More  important 
than  the  administrative  and  financial  officers,  more 
important  than  the  ceremonial  officials  of  the  Savoy  axe 
the  knights  and  esquires  of  the  Duke's  Retinue. 

John  of  Gaunt  did  not  sit  alone  with  his  family  in  the 
banqueting  halls  of  Hertford,  Leicester,  or  Kenilworth, 
and  when  he  went  to  the  wars  the  men  who  followed  his 
banner  were  not  hired  troops  alone.  The  "grand 
seigneur  "  must  have  his  circle  of  comrades  in  arms,  his 
followers  and  his  bodyguard,  and,  in  accordance  with 
the  custom  of  the  age,  these  followers  are  united  to  their 
chieftain  by  a  bond  of  a  special  and  peculiar  nature. 
More  than  a  hundred  knights,  banneret  or  bachelor,  and 
as  many  esquires,  entered  into  a  formal  compact  with 
the  Duke,  swearing  to  serve  him  faithfully  in  peace  or 
war  for  their  lives.  They  expoused  his  quarrels  (which 



were  not  few)  at  home,  and  they  followed  his  banner  into 
the  field  of  battle,  forming  with  their  attendants  the 
nucleus  of  the  force  which  he  led  in  his  sovereign's  service 
or  his  own  adventures.  In  return  for  this  service  they 
enjoyed  the  Duke's  favour  and  protection,  and  received 
each  one  his  retaining  fee,  so  much  for  a  simple  esquire, 
more  for  a  knight  bachelor  or  banneret,  more  still  for  a 
baron,  the  amount  varying  not  only  with  the  rank  of  the 
retainer,  and  the  regard  which  the  Duke  had  for  him, 
but  also  in  proportion  to  the  number  of  men  whom  he 
might  bring  into  the  field,  from  the  fee  of  ten  pounds  per 
annum  drawn  by  an  esquire  to  the  annuity  of  five  hundred 
marcs  paid  to  a  great  north  country  baron.  In  time  of 
war  the  fee  was  doubled,  and  in  addition  to  the  "  regard  " 
the  Duke  paid  for  the  "restore"  of  horses  killed  or 
captured  by  the  enemy,  and  advanced  in  part  or  wholly 
the  ransom  money  of  a  captured  retainer.  The  cost  of 
a  permanent  establishment  on  such  a  scale  as  this  was, 
of  course,  enormous ,  but  his  political  influence,  if  not  his 
personal  safety,  depended  in  no  small  measure  on  the 
power  to  command  the  support  of  armed  force  at  short 
notice  This  formed  the  material  guarantee  of  his  power 
and  dignity — decus  et  tutamen  in  armis  So  soon  as  the 
clerks  in  the  Savoy  could  write  copies  of  the  summons, 
and  the  Duke's  couriers  could  carry  his  message,  mobiliza 
tion  began,  and  the  Duke's  men  rode  to  the  rendezvous, 
equally  prepared  to  fight  the  foreigner,  to  follow  their 
master  to  the  Scottish  border,  or  to  stand  by  him  during 
a  stormy  session  at  Westminster. 

Among  the  men  whom  Lancaster  gathered  about  him 
were  many  of  note  both  in  the  arts  of  peace  and  war  : 
Sir  Robert  Knolles,  the  brave  and  dashing  captain  of 
Edward  III,  Sir  Richard  Le  Sorope  (Lord  Le  Scrope 
of 'Bolton),  and  Sir  Michael  de  la  Pole  (afterwards  Earl  of 
Suffolk),  the  faithful  minister  of  Richard  II.  Lord 
Neville  of  Raby,  Lord  Roos  of  Hamelak,  Lord  Dacre, 



and  Lord  Welles  took  the  Duke's  wages  and  wore  his 
hvery  ;  the  roll  of  his  men  contains  many  a  well-known 
name — Banastre,  Marmion,  Dymmok,  Blount,  Ursewyk, 
Curzon  and  Fol]ambe.  For  the  most  part  the  Duke's 
men  were  recruited  in  the  great  northern  lordships,  but 
southerners  from  Kent  and  Sussex,  and  East  Anghans, 
find  a  place  in  the  ranks,  while  Cornwall,  Wales  and 
Scotland  are  also  represented  Like  Duke  Henry,  Duke 
John  had  little  insular  prejudice,  and  true  to  the  spirit 
of  chivalry,  which  inclined  to  place  knighthood  above 
race  and  nation,  John  of  Gaunt  maintained  foreigners 
as  well  as  his  own  countrymen  among  his  retinue  Jean 
d'Aubrecicourt  the  Hainaulter,  and  Mauburni  de 
Limeres  the  Poitevin  fought  side  by  side  with  their 
English  comrades  for  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  in  France 
and  for  the  King  of  Castile  in  Spain ;  Spanish  knights 
follow  Queen  Constance  from  Bordeaux  to  the  Savoy 
and"  enroll  themselves  in  the  Lancastrian  retinue,  while  in 
the  "  eighties  "  the  chivalry  of  Portugal  is  also  represented. 
Such  was  the  territorial  interest  and  such  the  house 
hold  of  the  most  powerful  subject  of  Edward  III.  and 
Richard  II. 


Chapter  XI 


SELDOM  has  the  accession  of  an  English  King  taken 
place  under  more  humiliating  conditions  than 
those  of  1377.  While  the  great  feudatories  were  en 
grossed  in  coronation  ceremonial,  and  the  capital  was 
holiday  making — the  shores  of  the  kingdom  lay  at  the 
mercy  of  the  invader,  and  England  seemed  in  danger  of 
losing  for  ever  the  prestige  of  her  great  victories  and  her 
position  as  the  first  military  power  of  Europe.  From 
June  to  September  the  admirals  of  France  and  Castile, 
Jean  de  Vienne  and  Ferrand  Sanchez  de  Tovar,  swept 
the  Channel  and  harried  the  south  coast  at  their 
pleasure  They  overran  the  Isle  of  Wight,  and  put  the 
inhabitants  to  ransom ;  they  burnt  Rye,  Hastings 
and  Rottingdean,  and  carried  off  the  Prior  of 
Lewes,  and  finally  sailed  up  the  Thames  and  burnt 
Gravesend  The  Government,  thoroughly  alarmed, 
had  ordered  tenants  in  chief  to  go  back  to  their  lands 
and  hold  their  retainers  in  readiness ;  they  ordered 
Lancaster  to  strengthen  his  castles  on  the  Welsh 
marches,  and  even  bethought  them  of  putting  the 
crumbling  walls  of  Oxford  in  repair.  But  such  defensive 
expedients  were,  of  course,  useless  against  an  enemy 
which  held  the  control  of  the  sea ,  the  real  danger  of 
England  lay  not  in  the  weakness  of  fortifications,  but 
in  the  absence  of  a  fleet  capable  of  being  mobilised  at 
short  notice  and  of  clearing  the  seas  of  the  combined 
forces  of  France  and  Castile.  Such  half-hearted  at- 



tempts  at  offensive  action  as  were  made  were  doomed  to 
failure  ;  a  fleet  sent  to  attack  the  Spaniards  at  Sluys  was 
first  scattered  by  bad  weather,  and  then  rendered  use 
less  by  lack  of  combination  among  the  commanders 
and  by  mutiny  among  their  crews. 

Since  1374  John  of  Gaunt  had  taken  no  part  in  any 
military  operations  ;  he  still  maintained  the  attitude  of 
reserve  adopted  immediately  after  the  coronation,  and 
was  still  trying  to  avoid  responsibility  and  suspicion 
together  The  retirement  of  the  King's  eldest  uncle  was 
the  opportunity  of  the  youngest ;  Thomas  of  Woodstock 
at  once  stepped  forward  to  claim  the  place  yielded  by 
his  brother,  and  for  a  few  months  controlled  the  affairs 
of  the  kingdom.  Even  in  the  field  of  diplomacy  Lan 
caster  was  content  to  leave  the  conduct  of  affairs  to 
others  }  there  were  negotiations  with  France,  but  he  took 
no  part  in  them  , 1  the  politics  of  the  Peninsula  were  of 
the  fiist  interest  to  him,  but  he  declined  any  share  in 
the  negotiations  with  Aragon,2  and  though  he  had  been  ap 
pointed  commissioner  to  settle  outstanding  difficulties  with 
Scotland,  when  the  time  came  he  resigned  the  task  to 
others.3  A  year's  complete  self-effacement  might  have  been 
expected  to  calm  the  passions  of  1376  and  to  disarm  sus 
picion  ;  perhaps  the  Duke  thought  so,  or  perhaps  in  1378 
he  began  to  feel  a  genuine  alarm  at  the  situation  At 
any  rate,  in  the  summer  of  that  year  he  abandoned  his 
resolve,  and  left  the  deer  of  the  northern  forests  to 
accept  a  military  command  The  object  was  to  put  an 
end  to  these  continued  humiliating  descents  of  the  enemy 
upon  the  south  coast. 

When  hostilities  began  England  had  two  allies 
on  French  soil,  for  the  Duke  of  Brittany  had  espoused 

1  Foed}  VII    183-5, 

2  Ibid   200. 

3  The  Earl  of  March,  Lord  Neville,  and  Richard  le  Scrope, 

174^5  ,183 



the  English  cause,  pledging  himself  to  surrender 
Brest,  and  to  serve  King  Richard,  while  Charles  of 
Navarre  was  negotiating  to  place  Cherbourg  in  English 
bands,  and,  as  Charles  V  believed,  planning  a  blood 
alliance  with  the  royal  house  of  England t 

In  addition  to  Calais,  Bordeaux  and  Bayonne,  there 
fore,  Cherbourg  and  Brest  were,  or  were  soon  to  be,  at 
the  disposal  of  England ,  but  the  Government  had  yet 
to  learn  that  naval  bases  do  not  win  battles  or  secure 
the  control  of  the  sea.  Meanwhile  the  Castilian  fleet 
had  returned,  for  Enrique  II  found  enough  to  do  for 
the  moment  in  protecting  his  commerce  from  Gascon 
privateers,  and  his  frontiers  from  his  cousin  of  Portugal, 
to  say  nothing  of  his  son-in-law  of  Navarre. 

Such  was  the  naval  situation  when  Lancaster,  after 
long  delay  caused  by  contrary  winds,  put  to  sea  at  the 
beginning  of  July  to  meet  the  French  admiral  2 

If  Jean  de  Vienne  had  fought,  he  would  have  fought 
single-handed  without  the  support  of  Castile,  but  his 
orders  were  not  to  fight,  for  Charles  V  was  resolved  to 
carry  out  at  sea  also  that  policy  of  inaction  which  had 
achieved  such  signal  success  in  1373  When,  therefore, 
Lancaster's  fleet,  after  lying  weatherbound  at  Sand 
wich,  reached  the  Isle  of  Wight  and  thence  made  for  the 
Norman  coast,  there  was  no  enemy  to  be  found,  for  Jean  de 
Vienne  had  crept  up  the  coast  to  Harfleur  and  was  lying 
in  the  Seine  After  searching  the  Norman  coast  m  vain 

1  Foed,  VII   174  9  190-5  ,  196-7    The  proposal  for  a  marnage 
between  Kathenne  of  Lancaster  and  Pierre,  second  son  of  Charles 
of  Navarre,  was  said  to  have  been  found  in  the  secret  correspon 
dence  captured  with  Navarre's  agent,  Jacques  de  Rue      Chr  Val 
265     Froissart  K  de  L  55 

2  Letters  of  protection  for  Lancaster's  suite,  dated  March  4, 
1378  ,  Foed,  VII   1 86  ,  orders  to  impress  manners  dated  May  20 
and  May  24,  ibid    195  ,  letters  of  attorney  for  members  of  his 
suite,  dated  June  18,  ibid.  199-200  ;  letters  of  protection,  dated 
June   1 6,  ibid     Record  Report,  xxxii     App    (i )  17.     Froissart, 
K  deL    54-93      Chr.  Angl  194,204     Wals  i  367,373-5. 



the  Duke  was  compelled  to  abandon  his  mam  object. 
Operations  on  land  had  formed  no  part  of  his  plans,  and 
he  had  embarked  no  horses,  but  to  return  without  strik 
ing  a  blow,  as  the  great  fleet  had  returned  in  1372  after 
the  failure  to  reach  La  Rochelle,  would  be  to  play  into  the 
hands  of  the  critics  at  Westminster,  so  Lancaster,  finding 
the  wind  favourable  for  St.  Malo,  determined  to  land 
there  and  besiege  the  strongest  port  on  the  northern 
coast  yet  remaining  in  French  hands.  The  idea  was  an 
afterthought ,  it  took  the  enemy  by  surprise.  They  had 
just  time  to  throw  a  couple  of  hundred  lances  into  the 
town  before  the  siege  began.  It  was  difficult  for  Charles  V 
to  relieve  St  Malo  without  departing  from  his  defen 
sive  policy,  but  he  sent  du  Guesclin  to  give  the  town  all 
assistance  compatible  with  the  standing  orders  to  avoid 
an  engagement.  While  the  French  and  English  forces 
faced  each  other,  and  skirmished  at  low  tide  across  the 
tidal  river  which  separated  their  camps,  the  siege  went 
on  Lancaster  kept  his  batteries  busy  on  the  walls,  and 
delivered  assaults,  but  now,  as  at  the  siege  of  Limoges, 
he  relied  on  his  miners  to  carry  the  town.  The  work  was 
well  advanced,  when  one  night  early  in  August  the  Earl 
of  Arundel  was  in  charge  of  the  mine ,  the  Earl  had 
proved  himself  an  energetic  and  able  commander  at  sea, 
but  on  this  occasion  his  conduct  left  much  to  be  desired 
A  sortie  from  St  Malo  took  him  completely  by  surprise, 
and  succeeded,  under  cover  of  the  confusion  of  a  night 
attack,  in  completely  wrecking  the  mine. 

As  a  council  of  war,  which  censured  Arundel  for  his 
carelessness,  decided  that  it  was  useless  to  begin  the  work 
again,  the  siege  was  raised,  and  the  Duke's  force  returned 
to  England.  Arundel  was  in  disgrace,  but  responsibility 
for  the  failure  was,  naturally  enough,  laid  at  the  door 
of  the  commander-in-chief  ;  a  new  count  haS  been  added 
to  the  indictment  against  the  unpopular  Duke 1 

1  For  the  naval  expedition  and  the  siege  of  St    Malo,  see 



It  was  unfortunate  that  the  Duke's  first  military  ex 
pedition  since  his  retirement  should  have  ended  as  it  did  , 
still  more  unfortunate  that  this  military  failure  should  be 
followed  by  another  quarrel  with  the  Bishops  This  new 
conflict  with  the  powers  of  the  Church  was  the  result  of  an 
act  of  violence  done  during  Lancaster's  absence,  the  story 
of  which  takes  us  back  to  the  Spanish  campaign  of  1367. 

Among  the  foreign  volunteers  who  came  to  the  help 
of  Enrique  of  Trastamare  in  1366  was  Alfonso,  Count  of 
Ribagorza  and  Denia,  son  of  the  Infante  Don  Pedro, 
and  grandson  of  the  King  of  Aragon  Don  Jayme  II 1 

Enrique  rewarded  his  adherence  by  a  grant  of  lands  on 
the  frontier  of  Castile  and  the  title  of  Marquess  of  Villena,2 
and  sixteen  years  later  created  him  Constable  of  Castile  3 

Froissart,  K,  de  L   ix    54-5,   60,64-5,67-71,79-83     Chr   Val 
274      Chr    Angl  194-197,  201,  204-6,  and  Wals    i    367,  371, 
373-5  (an  untrustwoitliy  account) 

1  Ayala,  i  397,  and  n  235  ,  besides  the  passages  quoted  below, 
see  Ayala  u  66 1  (Adi$iones  a  las  Notes}  and  Fernan  Perez  de 
Guzman,  Generagiones  de  los  Reyes,  pp  597-8 

Jayme  1 1    King  of  Ai  igon 

Don  Pedro,  Infante  of  Aingou 

Don  Alfonso,  Count  of  Ribagoiza 

iml  Denia  Maique^s  of  Villena,         Fnuque  II  =  Dofia  Elvna 

Duke  of   Gancha,  Constable  of 


Don  Alfonso  Don  Pedro        =Dofia  Juan 

hostage  of  Hauley  and  Shikyl)  (hostage  of  the 

Count  of  Foix), 
d   1385 

Don  Em  i  que  de  Villena 

2  E  di6  a  Don  Alfonso  Conde  de  Denia  del  Regno  de  Aragon, 
que  vema  con  61  la  tierra  que  fuera  de  Don  Juan  fijo  del  In 
fante  Don  Manuel  6  mando  que  le  llamasen  Marques  de 
Villena     Ayala,  i   408 

3  Ayala,  u   157, 



Alfonso  fought  in  the  cavaky  division  of  the  usurper's 
army  at  Najera,  where  he  was  captured1  by  two  squires, 
Robert  Hauley  and  John  Shakyl.  By  the  ordinary 
rules  of  warfare  the  captive,  being  of  the  blood  royal, 
remained  at  the  disposal  of  Prince  Edward,  who  was 
bound  to  compensate  the  captors  with  a  suitable  reward. 
The  Marquess  of  Villena,  or  to  give  him  his  more  familiar 
title,  Count  of  Dema,  was  allowed  to  go  on  parole, 
giving  as  hostages  his  two  sons,  Alfonso  and  Pedro 
The  younger,  Pedro,  was  handed  over  to  the  Count  of 
Foix,  a  friend  of  the  Dema  family,  who  made  himself 
responsible  for  his  ransom ;  the  elder,  Alfonso,  was 
assigned  to  the  squires,  who  returned  to  England  with 
their  prize  and  the  prospect  of  a  substantial  ransom. 

Unfortunately  for  all  concerned,  the  asset  was  hard 
to  realize.  With  the  double  object  of  rewarding  his 
supporter  and  disposing  of  the  hands  of  two  illegitimate 
daughters,  Enrique  II  agreed  to  advance  60,000  florins 
towards  the  ransom,  on  the  understanding  that  Alfonso 
should  marry  one  daughter,  Leonor,  and  Pedro  should 
marry  the  second,  Juana,  the  advance  being  considered 
as  the  ]omt  dowry  of  the  two. 

So  far  as  the  younger  son  is  concerned  this  arrange 
ment  was  carried  out ;  Pedro  married  Juana,  and  con 
tinued  to  serve  the  House  of  Trastamare  until  1385, 
when  he  was  killed  at  Aljubarrota.2  Alfonso,  however, 
flatly  declined  to  accept  the  hand  of  a  lady  of  Leonor's 
reputation,  and  her  father  in  consequence  demanded 
back  30,000  florins,  i  e  half  the  dowry  advanced  as 

So  much  is  necessary  to  explain,  firstly  the  importance 
of  the  Count  of  Dema  in  international  politics,  and 
secondly,  the  long  delay  in  ransoming  the  English  hostage. 

1  Ayala,  i  457  ,  Wals,  i  304  ;  Chr  Angl,  59 

2  Fern  o  Lopes,  Chromca  d'el  Rey  D  Joao  I,  iv,  182       Higd 
ix,  66,    Wals,  11,  135     Cf,  Ayala,  II.  110-11  and  note. 



For  in  1377,  ten  Years  after  ^e  wmUall  which  had 
come  to  them  at  Na]  era,  the  squires  were  still  cherishing 
their  hopes  and  their  security.  Their  troubles  began 
when  in  the  autumn  of  that  year  the  Count  of  Dema  sent 
representatives  to  England  with  a  portion  of  his  son's  ran 
som  and  instructions  to  negotiate  terms  for  his  release.1 

Being  a  cadet  of  the  Royal  House  of  Aragon,  Dema  was 
able  to  induce  the  Court  of  Aragon  to  move  m  the 
matter.2  It  was  an  opportune  moment,  for  negotia 
tions  between  the  two  countries  were  ]ust  beginning  3 

The  Government  requested  Hauley  and  Shakyl  to 
produce  their  hostage,  but  the  squires,  fearing  the  loss  of 
their  ransom  money,  refused.  A  writ  ordering  the  Count 
of  Dema  to  be  produced  before  the  King  and  Council  in 
Parliament  4  succeeded  no  better,  for  the  Count  could 
not  be  found  ;  finally  the  captors,  by  the  order  of  Parlia 
ment,  were  committed  to  the  Tower  for  contumacy  and 
for  keeping  a  "  private  prison  "  in  their  own  house  fi  A 
plea  that  their  case  might  be  referred  to  a  committee  of 
the  King's  Council,  a  proved  of  no  avail  ;  the  Government 
remained  obdurate,  and  the  squires  remained  con 

This  situation  lasted  from  November,  1377,  to  August, 
1378.  Then  the  squires  escaped  from  the  Tower  and 
took  sanctuary  at  Westminster.  The  Constable  of  the 

1  Safe  conduct,  dated  August  4,  1377.    Foed,  VII    171. 

2  Cont.  Eulog   m   342  —  an  important  point  which  has  been 
overlooked,  as  also  has  the  fact  that  Dema  was  Aragonese,  not 

3  Powers  to  two  commissioners  to  treat  with  Aragon,  dated 
October  30,  1377      Foed,  VII    179 

*  Dated  October  28,  1377     Foed,  VII   178 

6  Rot  Parl  111  10  a  Sir  William  Fanngdon  was  also 
committed  to  the  Tower  in  connexion  with  the  Count  's  disap 
pearance  ,  he  was  released  and  handed  over  to  the  Earl  of 
Northumberland,  who  undertook  to  be  surety  for  him  Warrant 
dated  December  5,  1377  Foed,  VII  179-80 

6  'Rot  Parl  ni  soa  The  Count  of  Dema's  was  not  the  only 
case  there  was  trouble  about  Flemish  prisoners  too 



Tower,  Sir  Alan  Buxhill,  who  was  responsible  for  their 
safe  custody,  determined  to  get  them  back.  Accom 
panied  by  Sir  Ralf  Ferrers  and  a  body  of  armed  men,  he 
went  to  the  Abbey  and  soon  succeeded  in  getting 
Shakyl  out  of  the  precincts  by  a  ruse.  Hauley  was  less 
fortunate.  A  heated  argument  ensued,  the  Constable 
charging  him  with  contumacy  in  resisting  the  King's 
commands,  the  squire  charging  the  King's  councillors 
with  injustice  and  avarice.  Finding  argument  useless, 
the  Constable  ordered  his  guard  to  drag  the  man  from 
the  Abbey.  Mass  was  being  celebrated  at  the  time,  and 
the  priest  had  just  reached  the  words  "  If  the  Master  of 
the  house  had  known  at  what  hour,"  etc  ,  when  the 
Abbey  became  the  scene  of  wild  confusion,  the  hunted 
man  breaking  in  among  the  monks  in  the  chancel,  with  a 
body  of  armed  guards  at  his  heels.  It  was  useless  to 
try  to  protect  the  fugitive  ;  the  monks  were  driven  back 
at  the  sword's  point,  and  one,  a  sacristan,  bolder  than 
the  rest,  was  cut  down  Hauley  himself  was  caught  and 
despatched  on  the  very  steps  of  the  altar 

Blood  had  been  shed  in  the  sacred  building,  and  not 
only  had  sanctuary  been  violated,  but  the  Abbey 
miraculously  consecrated  by  Saint  Peter  himself  had  been 
desecrated  by  murder  !  For  a  while  the  clergy  hesitated 
between  desire  for  vengeance  and  fear  of  the  secular 
power  The  murderers  were  the  King's  officers  Was  it 
wise  to  defy  the  Government  and  challenge  the  strong 
anti-clerical  feeling  of  the  day,  when  the  King's  mother 
was  notorious  for  her  Lollard  sympathies,  when  the 
King's  uncle  was  protecting  Wychff e,  and  the  reformer's 
ideas  were  gaining  every  day  a  stronger  hold  on  the 
court  and  people  ?  Bold  counsels  prevailed  :  the  Bishop 
of  London,  with  five  suffragans,  proceeded  to  St  Paul's 
and  solemnly  excommunicated  Sir  Alan  Buxhill  and  Sir 
Ralf  Ferrers  and  all  directly  or  indirectly  responsible  for 
the  outrage. 



It  was  in  vain  that  the  King  wrote  to  the  Bishop 
requesting  him  not  to  publish,  or  at  least  to  postpone 
the  sentence.  The  Bishop  ignored  the  royal  letters,  and 
repeated  his  curses  three  days  a  week  at  St.  Paul's 
It  is  true  that  the  names  of  Richard  himself,  the 
Princess  Joan  and  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  were  speci 
fically  excepted  from  the  sentence  of  excommunication, 
but  this  exception,  insinuating  a  responsibility  which 
could  not  be  openly  maintained,  only  served  to  irritate 
the  Government  more,  The  King's  officers  had  violated  a 
privilege  of  the  Church,  and  the  Church  had  declared 
war  on  the  Government 

Such  was  the  situation  when  John  of  Gaunt  returned 
from  his  ill-fated  expedition  to  St.  Malo.  In  the  outrage 
of  August  ii  the  Duke  can  have  had  no  share  direct  or 
indirect,  for  he  had  been  at  sea  for  more  than  a  month 
when  the  crime  took  place  He  has  been  held  responsible, 
however,  for  the  events  which  led  to  it,  for  the  attempt, 
that  is,  to  get  possession  of  the  Count  of  Denia,  on 
the  word  of  the  Monk  of  St.  Albans,  evidence  which 
would  prove  the  Duke  guilty  of  all  possible  crimes  and 
treasons  from  his  first  appearance  in  public  life  to  the 
year  1388,  when  the  "  Scandalous  Chronicle "  ceases, 
The  St.  -  Albans  chronicler  says  that  the  attempt  to 
secure  Dema's  person  was  made  to  please  the  Duke  of 
Lancaster,  giving  the  statement  on  the  strength  of  a 
popular  rumour,1  producing  a  confession  of  guilt  on  the 
same  authority,3  but  making  the  mistake  of  coupling 
with  this  explanation  another  equally  unconvincing,  to 
the  effect  that  the  attempt  was  made  not  by  the  Duke 
at  all,  but  by  the  King's  advisers,  who  wanted  to  marry 
the  Count  of  Denia  to  the  King's  half-sister,  Matilda 

A  priori  it  is  difficult  to  see  how  the  possession  of  the 

1  Ut  quibusdam  placet     Chr  Angl  210 
3  Ut  quidam  dicunt     Chr  Angl  210 



person  of  the  young  Alfonso  could  help  Lancaster's 
Castilian  ambitions,  seeing  that  the  Count  himself,  a 
noble  of  Aragon,  was  definitely  committed  to  the  cause 
of  Trastamare  But  in  this  case  there  is  something  more 
than  antecedent  probabilities  or  the  reverse  to  go  upon. 
The  writ  ordering  the  production  of  the  hostage,  and 
the  committal  of  his  captors,  was  issued  not  by  the  Lan 
castrian  Parliament  of  January,  1377,  but  by  the  Par 
liament  of  October,  1377,*  ^  by  Sir  Peter  de  la  Mare, 
recruited  from  the  veterans  of  1376,  a  house,  we  are 
told,  which  if  not  anti-Lancastrian,  was  the  most  inde 
pendent  of  all  the  assemblies  of  the  reign  2 

To  overcome  the  improbability  that  such  a  Parliament 
would  go  out  of  its  way  to  perpetrate  an  act  of  injustice 
to  please  John  of  Gaunt  requires  evidence  rather  more 
satisfactory  than  one  of  two  inconsistent  explanations 
offered,  on  the  strength  of  idle  rumour,  by  the  St  Albans 
chronicle  There  is  no  reason  to  reject  the  plain  and 
natural  explanation,  that  the  Count  of  Dema  wanted  to 
get  his  son  back,  that  he  got  his  own  court  to  back  his 
request,  and  that  Richard's  Government,  anxious  as 
they  showed  themselves  to  conciliate  both  the  King  of 
Aragon  and  the  Count  of  Foix,  were  prepared  to  do  what 
they  could  The  rest  is  explained  by  the  natural  fears 
of  the  captives  and  the  violence  of  the  King's  officers,  and 
to  look  for  the  traces  of  a  deep  political  conspiracy,  or  to 
cast  an  air  of  mystery  about  the  incident,  is  gratuitous.3 

Lancaster  then  had  no  share  in  the  crime  of  August  n, 

1  Rot  Parl  111   loa 

2  Stubbs,  Const.  Hist,  u  463 

3  Higden,  viu   397 ,  says  explicitly  that  the  act  was  done  by 
"  sceleYati  de  familia  regis  " 

SeeCAr  Angl  207-8;  241 ,   Wals  i  376-8,411  ,  Eulog  111  342  , 
Record  Report,   xlv     App    x    308      Delpit  Collection,  p    205 
Foed,  VII   275,  287,  and  312 

In  the  end  the  King  agreed  that  in  exchange  for  the  captive 
Shakyl  should  have  lands  worth  100  marcs  p  a ,  and  promised 



or  in  the  circumstances  which  led  tip  to  it ,  the  wise 
course,  the  course  which  ten  years  later  he  would  cer 
tainly  have  adopted,  was  to  stand  aside  and  leave  the 
Bishop  of  London  and  the  monks  of  Westminster  to 
fight  their  quarrel  out  with  the  King's  Council  But 
instead  of  doing  this  the  Duke  repeated  his  mistake  of 
1376  ,  and  threw  himself  into  a  quarrel  which  was  none 
of  his  making.  The  Bishop  of  London  had  been  sum 
moned  to  a  meeting  of  the  Council  at  Windsor,  and 
had  refused  to  attend  Irritated  by  another  example 
of  the  arrogance  of  the  chiefs  of  the  hierarchy,  the  Duke 
offered  to  ride  to  St  Paul's  and  drag  the  Bishop  to 
Windsor  "  in  spite  of  the  ribald  knaves  of  London  "  l 

Once  more  a  rash  threat  aroused  popular  passion. 
Once  more  suspicion  was  aroused,  taking,  as  usual,  the 
form  of  exaggeration  and  invention.  The  failure  at  St. 
Malo  must  be  the  result  of  corruption :  the  Duke  had  got 
into  his  hands  the  taxes  voted  by  Parliament,  and  was 
using  them  for  his  own  ends !  He  was  plotting  the  destruc 
tion  of  the  Church .  wholesale  abolition  of  privilege  and 
confiscation  of  property  were  the  main  features  of  a 
scheme  of  disestablishment  to  be  propounded  to  the 
forthcoming  Parliament ! 

to  found  a  chantry  for  the  souls  of  those  killed  by  his  officers 
Lancaster's  only  appearance  in  the  case  is  as  arbiter  in  a  quarrel 
twelve  years  later  between  Hauley's  heir  and  Shakyl  (Rot    Pat 
Oct  20, 1 390)  as  to  the  division  of  the  spoil 

The  account  of  Mr  Shirley  (Fasc  Ziz  Introduction,  xxxv  )  is 
most  misleading  Dema  was  a  "relation  of  the  reigmng  house  " 
of  Aragon,  not  "  of  Castile  "  Sir  Ralf  Ferrers  was  not  "  one  of 
the  Duke's  retainers  "  Lancaster  did  not,  and  could  not  "  follow 
the  squires  to  sanctuary "  Where  is  the  evidence  that  he 
"  offered  the  squires  a  price  for  the-  prisoner  "  ?  Or  that  he  "  put 
forward  claims }  we  scarcely  know  what3  on  the  part  of  the  Crown  "  ? 

The  scandalosa  mendacia  of  Lancaster's  (l  deeper  scheme  of 
revenge  "  are  refuted  by  the  events  which  followed,  and  by  the 
passage  from  the  De  Ecclesia  which  Mr  Shirley  quotes  (Fasc  Ziz. 
Introduction,  xxxvi  -xxxvii  ), 

1  Chr  Angl.  210. 



Parhament  met  at  Gloucester,  out  of  the  reach  of  the 
"  ribald  knaves  of  London," *  and  opened  with  every  sign 
of  an  uncomfortable  session  The  Lords  refused  to 
follow  the  precedent  of  the  last  three  Parliaments  by 
allowing  a  number  of  themselves  to  be  selected  to  con 
fer  with  the  Commons ;  the  Commons,  on  their  part, 
showed  a  disposition  to  grumble  at  everything,  and  a 
strong  reluctance  to  vote  taxes. 

Lancaster's  chief  object  was  to  clear  his  own  name  and 
to  place  it  beyond  question  that  the  subsidies  had  been 
spent  on  the  purposes  for  which  they  had  been  voted. 
Knowing  his  position   and  foreseeing  suspicion,  he  had 
taken  care  to  name  Walworth  and  Phihpot,  the  Parlia 
mentary  Treasurers,  among  the  commissioners  of  array 
appointed  to  supervise  the  preparations  for  the  naval 
expedition  of  the  summer2     When,  therefore,  Richard 
le  Scrope  declared  m  the  King's  name  that  every  penny 
of  the  taxes  had  been  spent  on  the  war,  the  Treasurers 
were   compelled   to  support   the    statement     But  the 
Commons  were  not  satisfied  even  by  the  words  of  their  own 
officers  ,  they  demanded  that  the  accounts  should  be  pro 
duced      There  was  a  strong  feeling  among  the  Council 
against  making  a  concession  which  might  become  an  incon 
venient    precedent,    but    Lancaster   insisted,    and   the 
accounts  were  produced     A  scrutiny  justified  the  state 
ments  of  Richard  le  Scrope,  Walworth  and  Phihpot. 
It  was  proved  that  all  the  money  had  been  spent  on  the 
war,  and  the  Commons  had  to  content  themselves  with 
grumbling  that  it  was  not  proper  to  charge  to  voted 
moneys  the  expense  of  maintaining  Cherbourg,  Brest, 
Calais,  Bordeaux,  and  Bayonne,  ports  which,  as  the 
ministers  reminded  them,  were  not  only  "  beles  et  nobles 

1  Summoned  by  writ  dated  September  3,  2  Rich  II,  to  meet 
on  Wednesday  after  St  Luke  (Dugdale,  Summons,  297),  it  sat  from 
October  20  to  November  16,  1378     Rot,  Parl  ui  32-54 

2  Foed>  VII.  199 




entrees  et  Portz  pur  grever  noz  enemys,"  but  also  the 
"  barbicans  "  of  the  Kingdom. 

As  for  the  threatened  spoliation  of  the  Church,  the 
charge  had  to  go  the  way  of  the  other  equally  fanciful 
charge  of  corruption. 

Common  sense  and  justice  alike  demanded  that  a  limit 
should  be  placed  on  the  abuse  of  sanctuary,  and  that  a  time- 
honoured  privilege  of  the  Church  should  not  be  employed 
to  protect  the  person  and  property  of  a  fraudulent  debtor 
Such  a  limitation  of  a  long-standing  grievance  Lancaster 
supported  *  it  represented  the  extreme  limit  of  his 
"  revolutionary  policy , " 2  and  that  others  besides  Wycliffe 
supported  his  view  appears  from  the  fact  that  a  year 
later  the  reform  was  embodied  in  a  statute.3 

It  was  seven  years  since  John  of  Gaunt  had  married  the 
heiress  of  Castile  He  had  never  laid  aside  his  continental 
ambitions  or  abandoned  his  resolve  to  win  a  place  among 
the  kings  of  Europe.  In  spite  of  difficulties  the  work  of 
preparation  went  on  Of  those  negotiations  with  the 
Peninsular  powers  which  led  to  the  expedition  of  the 
Earl  of  Cambridge  in  the  summer  of  1381  more  will  be 
said  later.  While  circumstances  made  it  impossible  to 
carry  out  the  scheme,  the  Duke  found  occupation  in 
a  political  problem  nearer  home,  and  now  for  the  first 
time  began  to  play  a  prominent  part  in  the  relations 
between  England  and  her  northern  neighbour 

The  condition  of  the  Border  was  a  constant  source  of 
anxiety  to  Parliament.  Since  1369  there  had  been,  in 
theory  at  least,  a  truce  between  England  and  Scotland,  but 

1  Fasc  Ztz  Introduction,  xxxvi-xxxvu 

3  The  Monk  of  St    Albans  is  amusing     "  [Dux]  se  in  lucis 
angelum  transformavit,  mhil  pro  tune  omnium  quae  decreverat 
temptatwus,  sed  umversa  facturus  quae  ipse  archiepiscopus  et 
suffraganei  pro  tune  decernerent  vel  ]uberent      Chr  Angl   211 
Cf  Wals   i  380 

3  In  the  Parliament  which  sat  at  Westminster  from  25  April 
to  27  May,  1379     Rot  Parl  m  55-70 



the  period  was  one  of  constant  fighting  and  disorder. 
Berwick  was  taken  and  retaken  with  a  wearisome 
regularity,  again  and  again  the  Earls  of  March  and 
Douglas  and  Archibald  Douglas,  Lord  of  Galloway, 
swept  over  the  border  and  harried  the  northern 
counties  ;  as  often  Percy,  Greystock  and  Neville  led 
their  border  riders  to  ravage  the  Lowands  It  is  useless 
to  attempt  to  distinguish  aggression  from  retaliation, 
or  to  say  who  began  a  quarrel  which  in  point  of  fact 
never  ended.  This  anarchy  was  tempered  by  the  institu 
tion  of  March  days,  on  which  commissioners  from  either 
Government  met  at  some  Border  village  to  discuss  in 
fractions  of  the  truce  and  to  make  redress 

The  Scottish  king  was  prepared  to  accept  peace  but 
powerless  to  control  his  subjects  ,  both  Governments  had 
grounds  for  the  belief  that  the  turbulent  border  families 
were  largely  responsible  for  a  state  of  disorder  which, 
ruinous  at  any  time,  might  prove  fatal  to  England  in 
a  critical  period  of  foreign  relations 

One  of  the  political  convictions  of  the  Duke  of  Lan 
caster  was  the  possibility  and  desirability  of  cultivating 
better  relations  with  Scotland.  He  was  led  to  form  this 
conclusion  both  by  political  considerations  and  personal 
prepossessions.  Obviously,  while  the  French  war  lasted 
it  was  necessary  to  secure  the  northern  frontier  against 
invasion ;  to  remove  the  threat  of  such  invasion  was 
equally  necessary  to  the  prosecution  of  the  expedition  to 
Castile.  Not  only  so,  but  the  Duke  was  strongly  pre 
judiced  in  favour  of  the  Scots  There  were  Scottish 
knights  among  his  retinue,  and  Scottish  lances  had  fought 
under  his  banner  in  the  war,  while  the  Duke  could  breathe 
more  freely  in  a  political  atmosphere  where  fewrnstitutions 
flourished  to  check  the  power  of  the  great  feudatories 
The  Duke  had  formed  a  definite  Scottish  policy ;  in  the 
autumn  of  1380,  for  the  first  time,  he  prepared  to  carry 
it  into  effect.  Not,  however,  without  opposition.  The 



Earl  of  Northumberland  did  not  share  Lancaster's 
Scottish  sympathies,  and  regarded  border  politics  as 
part  of  the  Percy  inheritance  Given  an  irregular  dic 
tatorship  in  the  North,  the  control  of  the  Marches,  and 
a  free  hand  to  harry  the  Lowlands  when  he  thought  fit, 
Percy  would  have  been  willing  enough  to  leave  Govern 
ment  and  opposition,  Lollard  and  Churchman  to  fight 
out  their  pitiful  quarrels  at  Westminster  without 
interference  Unlike  his  brother,  Sir  Thomas  Percy, 
Henry,  Earl  of  Northumberland,  was  no  politician  and 
no  courtier  He  was  happy  fighting,  especially  fight 
ing  on  the  border,  and  his  ambition  was  to  convert 
into  a  permanent  arrangement  the  position  which  he 
had  first  held  in  1368,  when  the  custody  of  both  the 
Eastern  and  Western  Marches  had  been  placed  in  his 

It  happened  that  in  the  summer  of  1380  there  was  an 
unusually  flagrant  breach  of  the  truce  The  men  of  Hull 
and  Newcastle  captured  a  Scottish  ship  with  a  rich 
cargo .  by  way  of  revenge,  the  Scots  invaded  the 
northern  counties  in  force,  surprised  Penrith  during  the 
fair,  and  carried  away  with  them  their  loot  and  their 
pns  oners 1  This  was  enough  to  rouse  the  Lord  of 
Alnwick  and  light  the  border  firebrands  The  Percy 
lands  had  suffered,  and  the  Earl  called  out  his  moss 
troopers  and  prepared  to  strike  back. 

But  in  the  midst  of  his  preparations  he  was  stopped 
by  a  mandate  from  Westminster,  and,  riding  to  London 
to  ask  the  reason  for  this  inexplicable  order,  the  Earl 
learnt  that  a  March  day  had  already  been  arranged,  and 
there  must  be  no  hostilities  2 

Percy  was  out  of  humour  when  he  reached  London , 
it  did  not  calm  him  to  hear  that  at  the  head  of  the 

1  Scotichromcon,  xiv  43 
3  Chr  Angl  267-270 


border  commission  the  King  had  placed  his  uncle  the 
Duke  of  Lancaster. l 

The  Duke  went  to  the  Border  prepared  for  war  , 2  but, 
met  m  a  conciliatory  spirit,  difficulties  soon  disappeared, 
and  after  a  week's  preliminary  discussion  at  Liliotcross, 
the  Scottish  Commissioners  (the  Earl  of  Douglas,  the 
Bishop  of  Glasgow,  the  Chancellor)  met  the  Duke  in 
person  at  Berwick,  and  agreed  to  prolong  the  truce  until 
November  30,  is8i.3 

After  naming  deputies  and  wardens  of  the  marches,* 
Lancaster  turned  south  to  report  his  success  to  the  Parlia 
ment  which  had  been  sitting  for  the  last  three  weeks  at 
Northampton,  busy  as  usual  with  financial  problems, 
and  trying  to  get  at  the  facts  of  the  supposed  treason 
able  correspondence  with  the  enemy  on  the  part  of 
Sir  Ralf  Ferrers 5 

The  Commons  had  feared  an  expensive  compaign 
as  the  result  of  the  Scottish  incursion  of  the  summer, 

1  Lancaster's  commission  is  dated  September  6,  1380  (Foed, 
VII  268-9)  >  see  al30  notification  of  his  appointment  (ibid  269- 
70)  ,  writ  de  intendendo,  dated  October  2  (ibid  274) ,   memo  of 
copies  of  documents  relating  to  Scotland  to  be  sent  to  Mon- 
seigneur  d'Espaigne  (ibid  ,  273-4) 

2  Warrants,   dated  Tutbury,   August  14,    1380,   to   the   Re 
ceivers  of  Lancashire  and  Yorkshire,  to  call  out  the  most  ser 
viceable  knights  and  squires  of  his  retinue  to  go  with  him  against 
Scotland  ,  appointment  of  John  de  Norfolk  to  be  Treasurer  of 
the  "expedition  of  war"  against  the  Marches  of  Scotland,  etc 
Reg  II   46,  etc 

3  Safe  conduct  for  the  Scottish  Commissioners  dated  Barn- 
borough,  October  28,  1380     Reg  II  46    The  truce  was  struck 
November  i,  and  orders  were  given  for  it  to  be  proclaimed 
December  2      Foed.  VII  277-8,  278-9 

4  Warrants  dated  Newcastle,  November  8, 1380     Reg  II  147 

5  Parliament  had  been  summoned  by  wnt  dated  August  26, 
4  Ric  II,  to  meet  at  Northampton  on  the  Monday  after  All  Saints 
Dugdale,  Summons,  304      It  sat  from  November  5  to  December 
6,  1380      Rot  Parl  in  88-98   Cf   warrant  to  the  Receiver  in 
Lincolnshire  to  pay  for  purveyances  made  for  the  household  at 
Northampton,  dated  Knaresborough,  October  2,1380,    Reg.  II, 
38 ,  Chr  Angl  280 ,  Wals    i    449 



and  the  Duke's  successful  dealings  amounted  to  a 
pleasant  surprise.  Froissart  says  that  no  envoy  was 
able  to  secure  such  good  terms  from  Scotland  as  John  of 
Gaunt.  One  reason  for  this  lay  in  the  Duke's  readiness 
to  hear  both  sides  His  idea  of  international  relations 
was  that  there  should  be  "  peace  in  time  of  peace,  and 
war  in  war."1  If  a  definite  infraction  of  the  truce  could 
be  proved,  he  was  willing  to  give  judgment  against  his 
own  side,  punish  the  offender,  and  make  redress 2 

Success  made  the  Duke  acceptable  to  the  Government, 
and  in  the  spring  of  the  following  year  he  received  his 
second  commission,3  the  second  instance,  as  Henry  Percy 
thought,  of  vexatious  interference  in  the  affairs  of  the 

Little  did  John  of  Gaunt  think  as  he  rode  out  of  the 
Savoy  on  May  12  that  he  had  lived  his  last  day  in  the 
stately  palace  of  the  Earls  of  Lancaster,  the  treasure- 
house  of  their  precious  possessions,  or  that  within  a 
few  months  he  would  find  in  the  place  of  the  Savoy  a 
heap  of  charred  ruins !  Little  did  he  think,  as  he  rode 
with  his  retinue  through  Hertford,  Bedford  and  North 
ampton  to  his  castles  of  Leicester  and  Knaresborough, 
that  beneath  the  calm  surface  of  English  life  forces  were 
at  work  which  in  a  few  weeks  were  to  break  out,  threaten 
ing  to  overwhelm  the  whole  structure  of  society.  Yet, 

1  Froissart,  K  de  L  viu  326 

2  For  instances,  see  Warrant  dated  December  6,  4  Rich  II,  to 
the  Chief  Baron  of  the  Exchequer  and  Steward  of  Lancaster  to 
make  redress  for  the  injuries  done  (i)  to  the  Castle  of  Old  Rox 
burgh  ,  (2)  to  the  Earl  of  Douglas  in  the  last  expedition  against 
Scotland  to  the  amount  of  ^505    Reg  II   41    Mandate  to  the 
Sheriff  of  Lancaster  to  distrain  on  certain  persons  for  casks 
of  wine  taken  contrary  to  the  truce  with  Scotland,  and  to  pay 
10  marcs  for  each  cask     Dated  March  20 ,  sixth  year  of  the 
Regality  (1382)     Record  Report,  xxxi     App  No.  54 

•3  Dated  May  i,  1381  Foed,  VII  288-9  ^s  colleagues  were 
the  Bishop  of  Hereford  and  the  Earl  of  Stafford  Note  of  money 
paid  to  the  Duke  by  the  hands  of  his  clerk,  John  Norfolk,  ^1,000 
and  £1,333  6s  8d  Issue  R°M 



though  no  signs  of  the  coming  revolution  met  Lan 
caster's  eye,  perhaps  among  the  peasants  who  stared  at 
his  cavalcade,  among  the  friars  or  russet-gowned 
Lollard  preachers  who  met  him  on  the  road,  there  may 
have  been  agents  of  the  "  Central  Committee,"  emissaries 
of  the  discontented,  organizers  of  revolution.  The  calm 
which  for  the  most  part  lay  over  England  was  the  calm 
before  the  storm  This  is  not  the  place  to  tell  the  story 
of  the  Peasants'  Rebellion,  or  to  sketch  the  causes  and 
results  of  an  upheaval  unique  in  English  history  It  is 
a  familiar  story  how  the  burden  of  villein  service,  weigh 
ing  all  the  more  heavily  since  the  ravages  of  the  Black 
Death  and  repressive  legislation , — the  unpopular  poll- 
tax  of  1380,  which  brought  home  to  every  household, 
however  humble,  the  cost  of  the  war ,— the  abuse  of 
purveyance,  and  the  general  weakness  of  the  administra 
tion  ;— how  these  grievances,  leavened  here  and  there  by 
the  preaching  of  theoretical  socialism,  drove  the  peasants 
to  rise  against  the  established  order.1 

Equally  familiar  is  the  stirring  history  of  the  march 
of  the  men  of  Kent  and  Essex  to  London :  how  they 
entered  the  City  and  murdered  the  Primate-Chancellor 
and  the  Treasurer. 

The  first  act  of  the  rebels  after  reaching  London  was 
to  make  for  the  Savoy.  There,  with  the  help  of  the 
London  mob,  they  wrecked  the  palace  built  by  Boniface 
of  Savoy  and  the  good  Duke  Henry,  the  building  which, 
by  all  contemporary  account,  had  no  equal  in  England 
for  beauty  and  magnificence.  They  tore  to  pieces  cloth 
of  gold  and  silver  and  rich  tapestries,  broke  up  the  rich 
furniture,  crushed  the  Duke's  plate,  and  ground  his 
jewels  and  precious  stones  under  foot.  All  that  could 
not  be  destroyed  was  cast  into  the  river,  and  when  the 

1  Chy   Angl  285-326 ,    Wals   i  453-484,  11  1-41     Higd   ix. 
i-io  ,  Kn  11   131-143,  Eulog  in   351-4    Memorials  of  London 
p,  449 



work  of  destruction  was  over  the  Savoy  lay  a  smoulder 
ing  ruin 

Nothing  is  more  striking  in  the  whole  story  of  the 
rebellion  than  the  eagerness  of  the  rebels  to  prove  their 
single-minded  hatred  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster.  "  We 
are  no  thieves/'  they  cried,  when  one  of  their  number  tned 
to  make  off  with  a  piece  of  the  Duke's  plate,  and  cast  the 
wretch  with  his  plunder  into  the  flames.  No  indignity  that 
could  be  invented  was  spared  a  "jack"  of  the  Duke 
was  set  up  on  a  spear  riddled  with  arrows,  taken  down, 
and  hacked  to  pieces  The  rebels  hated  the  Duke  as  the 
most  prominent  man  in  England,  as  the  type  of  the  ad 
ministration  responsible  for  their  troubles  They  hated  his 
assumption  of  royal  dignity  ;  they  would  have  "  no  King 
named  John  "  Failing  to  satisfy  their  lust  for  vengeance, 
they  wreaked  it  on  the  humblest  victims  To  be  connected 
with  the  Duke  in  any  way  was  to  be  in  peril ;  to  be  in  his 
service  was  to  be  marked  out  for  certain  destruction.  A 
certain  Minorite  Friar,  the  Duke's  physician,  was  mur 
dered  for  no  other  reason  than  the  Duke's  friendship  for 
him,1  but,  by  some  strange  fatality,  while  his  servants 
were  being  murdered  in  London  and  in  the  Eastern 
counties,  the  Duke's  eldest  son,  Henry  of  Bohngbroke, 
who  was  in  the  Tower  with  the  King,  escaped  notice. 

So  great  was  the  terror  inspired  by  the  rebels'  hatred 
for  John  of  Gaunt  that  no  one  dared  to  harbour  his 
property.  At  Hertford  no  effort  was  made  to  defend 
the  castle  :  the  rebels  entered  and  caroused  in  the  Duke's 
cellars  as  they  had  done  at  the  Savoy,  where  more  than 
thirty  had  perished  in  the  ruins 2 

1  Kmghton(n  13  3)  calls  him  **  Johannes  de  or  dine  Minorum 
in  armis  bellicis  strenuus,  in  physica  pentissimus,  domino 
Jonanni  duci  Lancastnae  familianssimus  "  Cf.  Froissart,  K  de 
L  ix  400 , 404  His  name  was  William  de  Appleton,  and  he  was 
retained  by  the  Duke  at  40  marcs  p. a.  for  hfe.  Reg  I.  f.  128. 
Cf.  Anglo-French  Chronicle  (Hist.  Rev.  1898),  p.  517. 

a  Warrant  to  the  Treasurer  of  the  Household  to  allow  in 
the  accounts  of  William  de  Overbury,  Esquire,  chief  butler,  for 



The  attack  on  the  Savoy  had  taken  every  one  by  sur 
prise  Leicester,  on  the  other  hand,  was  warned  in  time. 
When  a  courier  arrived  with  the  news  that  the  rebels 
were  marching  north  to  wreck  the  castle  and  burn  all 
the  Duke's  property,  the  keeper  of  the  Duke's  wardrobe 
packed  his  treasures  and  drove  them  to  the  Abbey. 
The  Abbot  refused  to  admit  them ,  to  harbour  the 
goods  of  the  patron  of  Leicester  was  to  court  destruction, 
and  as  no  one  seemed  anxious  for  martyrdom  in  the 
cause,  the  Duke's  property  found  no  asylum  save  in  the 
precincts  of  St.  Mary's  Church. 

Still  more  extraordinary  is  the  story  of  the  Duchess 
Constance  and  her  flight.  When  the  rebels  entered 
London  the  Duchess  was  probably  at  Hertford,  her  usual 
residence,  but  on  the  first  warning  of  the  outbreak  she 
hastened  north  with  the  intention  of  joining  the  Duke 
on  the  Border.1  But  Constance  reached  Pontefract  only 
to  find  its  gates  shut  in  her  face.  The  craven  who  held 
the  castle  for  the  Duke  dared  not  admit  his  lady,  and 
from  Pontefract  she  rode  on,  the  same  night,  to 
Knaresbrough  by  torchlight 

That  the  pious  Duke  should  be  beyond  the  reach  of  the 
rebels'  fury  appeared  to  the  Canon  of  Leicester  at  least 
a  manifest  dispensation  of  Providence.3 

When  the  peasants  were  gathering  for  the  march  on 

two  pipes  of  wine  lost  and  destroyed  at  the  Savoy  by  the  common 
rebels  in  tune  of  the  great  rumour,  and  for  one  pipe  of  wine 
destroyed  by  the  rebels  at  Hertford,  dated  London,  February  20, 
1382  Reg  II  58  Warrant  to  the  Auditors  to  allow  in  the 
accounts  of  the  Treasurer  of  the  Household  the  pnces  of  several 
articles  destroyed  at  the  Savoy,  etc  3  dated  Pontefract,  Septem 
ber  8,  1381  Reg  II  67  Cf  Rot  Pat  April  24,  1382 

1  Warrant  to  lie  Receiver  of  Lancashire  to  send  all  the  money 
in  his  hands  to  him  by  his  Queen,  dated  Roxburgh,  June  23 , 
1386     Reg  II  47 

2  For  Lancaster  on  the  Border  and  in  Scotland,  his  return  and 
quarrel  with  Northumberland,  see  Chr  Angl  327-30 ,  Wals  11 
414-5  ,  Kn  143-149,  Crony  hi  of  Scotland,  ni  iv  16,  Scohchroni- 
cont  xiv  46,  Froissart,  K  de  L  ix,  383-6,  397-8,  417-27 



London,  Lancaster  was  safe  within  the  castle  walls  of 
Knaresbrough ;  two  days'  discussion  with  the  Scottish 
marchers  had  already  taken  place  at  Coldingham  and 
Abchester  when  the  mob  was  wrecking  the  Savoy.1 

But  ill  news  flies  fast,  and  before  an  understanding 
had  been  arrived  at,  it  had  reached  the  Border.  The 
truth  was  terrible  enough,  but  in  the  form  in  which  the 
news  reached  Lancaster  panic  had  exaggerated  the  dan 
ger.  He  was  told  that  his  castles  in  the  south  were  lying  in 
ruins,  that  everywhere  his  property  had  been  destroyed, 
and  that  now  two  bodies  of  rebels,  each  ten  thousand 
strong,  were  marching  north,  sworn  to  make  him  share 
the  fate  of  the  slaughtered  Primate  and  Treasurer. 

John  of  Gaunt  was  a  true  Plantagenet ;  no  sign  of  fear 
betrayed  his  secret  to  the  Scottish  envoys.  While  his 
couriers  were  riding  with  orders  to  the  constables  of  his 
castles  in  Yorkshire  and  on  the  Welsh  inarches  to 
garrison  them  for  a  siege  and  admit  no  one  without 
letters  under  his  seal,2  the  Duke  quietly  went  on  with  the 
negotiations,  and  by  the  offer  of  liberal  terms  persuaded 
the  Scots  to  prolong  the  truce,3 

Not  till  the  compact  was  sealed  did  the  Scots  learn  that 
they  had  lost  the  golden  opportunity  of  attacking  England 
in  the  hour  of  weakness.  Too  loyal  to  repudiate  their 
engagement,  but  unwilling  to  lose  the  chance  of  fighting, 
the  Scottish  Earls  offered  Lancaster  an  army  to  lead 
against  the  insurgents.  To  this  strange  offer,  doubtless 
made  in  good  faith,  the  Duke's  answer  was  firm.  Re 
membering  that  he  was  the  representative  of  his  country, 

1  ^597  145  gd  was  paid  for  the  expenses  of  the  negotiations 
between  the  Earl  of  Carnck  and  the  Duke  of  Lancaster     Ex 
chequer  Rolls  of  Scotland,  ui   81 

2  Warrants    to    the   Constables   of   Whitecastle,    Grosmont, 
Skenfnth,  Tutbury  and  Tickhill,  dated  Berwick,  June  19.    Reg. 
II   46-7 

3  Payment  of  the  balance  of  King  David's  ransom  was  post 
poned   the  truce  (to  last  till  February  2,  1383)18  dated  Berwick, 
June  19,  1381      Foedt  VII  312-315 



and  that  his  country's  honour  was  at  stake,  he  told  the 
Scots  that  if  their  forces  entered  England,  rebellion  or 
no  rebellion,  they  would  find  fighting  enough  before  ever 
they  reached  York, 

On  leaving  the  Border  he  turned  south,  intending  to 
march  to  the  help  of  the  King  * 

At  Bamborough  he  found  reason  to  change  his  plans. 
It  was  not  surprising  that  the  rebels  should  be  crying  out 
for  his  life ;  as  the  most  prominent  man  among  the 
ruling  class  he  might  expect  to  have  to  bear  the  brunt 
of  revolutionary  fury  But  not  only  were  the  people 
against  him  ;  the  Government  whom  he  was  serving  had, 
it  seemed,  declared  him  a  traitor.  The  wildest  rumours 
were  repeated  and  believed ;  one  story  said  that  he  was 
marching  South  with  an  army  of  twenty  thousand  Scots 
to  seize  the  kingdom ,  according  to  another,  he  had 
freed  all  his  bondmen,  and  they  had  sworn  to  make  him 
King.3  The  man  for  whose  head  the  Kent  and  Essex 
peasants  had  been  clamouring  found  himself  the  centre 
of  an  imaginary  conspiracy,  the  subject  of  wild  and 
conflicting  rumours,  in  which  only  one  thing  appeared 
probable,  that  he  would  be  sacrificed  to  the  fury  of  the 
insurgents  and  the  hatred  of  his  enemies.  There  was  a 
general  belief  that  the  King  had  placed  him  beyond  the 
protection  of  the  law ,  some  of  his  men  began  to  desert,  his 

1  Lancaster's  itinerary  here  becomes  interesting    May  12,  the 
Savoy  ,  19  and  20,  Leicester  ,  26,  28,  31,  Knaresboro' ,  June  i  and 
2,  Knaresboro' ,  1 1  to  20,  Berwick  and  Abchester  (near  Ayton) 
and  Coldmgham ,   20   and   21,    Bamborough ,   23,   Roxburgh, 

24,  Melrose ,  25,  29,  and  30,  Edinburgh,  July  i  and  10,  Edin 
burgh,    13,  Berwick,    14,  Bamborough,    16,  Newcastle,    17, 
Durham ,  19,  Northallerton  ,  20  and  21,  Boroughbndge ,  21  to 

25,  Pontefract ,  28,  Leicester,  August   i   to  4,  Leicester,  7, 
Sunning ,  10,  Reading  ,13,  Southam ,  18,  Brackley ,  September  6, 
Pontefract,  etc  (Reg ) 

2  Cf  Rot  Pat  Feb  14  and  April  14,  1383      Isolated  cases  of 
manumission  and  remission  of  dues   on  the  part  of  Lancaster 
may  have  been  talked  of  and  exaggerated    Cf  Reg  II  f  38,  etc. 



friends  wavered,  and  his  enemies  declared  themselves,1 
among  the  number  Henry  Percy.  At  length,  the  Earl 
thought,  the  time  had  come  for  getting  rid  of  a  rival  on 
the  Border,  for  Percy  believed  the  Duke  ruined,  and  the 
wish  was  father  to  the  thought.  Before  the  crisis  he  had 
invited  the  Duke  to  dine  with  him  and  stay  for  a  night 
on  the  journey  south.  On  leaving  Berwick  on  June  20 
the  Duke  received  a  curt  message  to  the  effect  that  he 
could  not  receive  him  or  admit  him  to  any  castle  in  his 
charge  without  the  King's  licence.  This  threat  was  made 
good  at  Bamborough2  by  the  Earl's  order.  Sir  Matthew 
Redmayne,  the  Captain,  shut  its  gates  in  the  Duke's 
face,  and  even  prevented  the  removal  of  the  Duke's 
transport  wagons,  which  had  been  left  there  during  the 
negotiations  at  Berwick. 

Betrayed  by  his  friends,  sacrificed,  as  he  believed,  by 
the  Government,  Lancaster  turned  back  to  the  north 
and  threw  himself  upon  the  protection  of  the  Scots.  The 
Earls  of  Camck  and  Douglas  had  protested  their  friend 
ship  ;  he  put  their  professions  to  the  test  and  was  not 
disappointed.  In  answer  to  a  letter  asking  for  permis 
sion  to  visit  Scotland,  the  Duke  received  an  eager  wel 
come  He  might  stay  in  Scotland  at  his  pleasure  and 
travel  at  his  will  3  his  messengers  were  to  be  free  to  come 
and  go  and  his  armed  retinue  might  accompany  him.3 
The  Duke's  late  adversaries  exhausted  every  possible 
courtesy  in  their  welcome  ;  they  met  him  at  the  Border, 
escorted  him  to  the  capital  and  lodged  him  in  the  Abbey 
of  Holyrood,  where,  from  June  25  to  July  10,  he  re- 

1  Here  the  Monk  of  St  Albans  inserts  the  usual  repentance 
Chr  Angl  328      Kn  i    147-8 

2  Froissart  says  Newcastle 

3  The  letters  of  safe  conduct  for  the  Duke  and  for  a  hundred 
attendants  (later  two  hundred)  are  dated  Mekose  June  22,  and 
Scone,  June  28,  1381      Reg.  II    147     See  also  warrants  to  the 
Receiver  of  Yorkshire  to  pay  for  sending  archers  from  Knares- 
boro'  to  Berwick,  dated  Edinburgh,  June  29 ,  Berwick,  July  13, 
and  Pontefract,  October  10     Reg  II  48,  55 



mained  the  guest  of  the  Scottish  nation  It  was  an 
extraordinary  situation ;  the  greatest  feudatory  unable 
to  return  to  his  own  country,  the  King's  representative 
disowned,  as  it  seemed,  by  the  Government  from  which 
he  was  accredited,  relying  on  the  protection  of  a  foreign 

Obviously  such  a  situation  could  not  last,  and  it  was 
natural  that  Lancaster  should  write  to  demand  an 
explanation  He  had  been  sent  to  the  Border 
on  the  King's  service,  and  had  loyally  carried  out 
his  instructions  He  had  been  refused  entrance  to 
the  King's  castles,  and  had  been  given  to  understand 
that  he  was  an  outlaw  and  a  traitor.  If  this  had  been 
done  with  the  King's  sanction,  and  if  it  were  the  King's 
pleasure,  he  was  ready  to  turn  his  back  on  England  and 
go  into  exile  Or,  if  his  presence  were  required,  he  was 
willing  to  return  without  his  retinue,  with  only  a  single 
knight,  a  squire  and  a  servant  to  attend  him. 

The  reply  proved  that  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  and 
his  party  had  misjudged  the  situation  The  absurd  stories 
of  complicity  in  the  rebellion,  which  his  enemies  had  been 
willing  to  believe  or  at  least  to  circulate,  were  never 
senously  entertained  by  those  in  authority.  On  the  day 
that  Lancaster  entered  Scotland  the  King  had  placed 
him  at  the  head  of  a  commission  to  quell  disorder  in  the 

Richard  requested  his  uncle  to  return,  bringing  with 
him  a  sufficient  armed  force.  A  writ  commanded  the 
sheriffs  to  protect  him  on  the  ]ourney,  and  a  proclama 
tion  denied  the  defamatory  reports  in  circulation,  de 
clared  the  Duke's  zeal  for  the  King's  service,  and  com 
manded  all  loyal  subjects  to  render  him  due  obedience,2 

1  The  other  Commissioners  were  the  Earl  of  Northumberland, 
Lords  Roos,  Neville,  Clifford,  the  Baron  of  Greystock,  and 
Richard  le  Scrope  Dated  Waltham,  June  23,  1381  Reg  IL 

3  Wnts  dated  July  2  and  3     Foedt  VII   318-19,    Rot.  Pat, 



while  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  and  Lord  Neville 
were  specially  commissioned  to  escort  the  Duke  through 
Northumberland,  Yorkshire  and  Nottingham  to  the 
King's  presence. 

On  July  10  John  of  Gaunt  said  farewell1  to  the  city 
which  had  given  him  so  royal  a  welcome,  and  which  was 
soon  to  receive  a  signal  proof  of  his  gratitude 

He  set  out  for  the  South,  but  not  alone  Along  the 
road  from  Edinburgh,  through  Haddington  to  Berwick, 
by  which  many  a  troop  of  English  borderers  had  ridden 
back  with  the  spoils  of  the  Lothians,  the  Duke  was 
escorted  by  his  Scottish  hosts,  the  Earls  of  Carnck  and 
Douglas,  the  Lord  of  Galloway,  and  the  principal  barons 
of  Scotland,  with  a  guard  of  honour  of  eight  hundred 
lances,  to  English  territory,  where  Lord  Neville,  one  of 
his  retinue,  met  him  with  a  body  of  men-at-arms,  the 
escort  of  the  Earl  of  Northumberland,  present  by  the 
King's  order,  being  dismissed. 

Before  the  events  of  June  could  be  forgotten  there 
was  more  than  one  score  to  settle.  The  first  was  wiped 
out  when  the  Duke  reached  Pontefract  and  laid  on  the 
goods  and  chattels  of  Sir  Matthew  Redmayne  a  fine 
amounting  to  half  the  damage^  due  to  Lord  Archibald 
Douglas  for  trespasses  done  in  Annandale  m  violation  of 
the  truce 2  But  Sir  Matthew  was  only  a  second ,  the 
duel  with  the  principal  was  to  be  fought  later  After 
five  days'  halt  at  Pontefract.  Lancaster  rode  on  through 
Leicester  to  the  King  at  Reading,  the  sheriff  of  every 
county  on  the  line  of  march  turning  out  with  his  levies 
to  swell  the  Duke's  escort 

Expressions  of  good  will,  words  and  gifts 3  were  all 
very  well,  but  the  Duke's  honour  had  been  touched,  and 

1  Warrant  to  the  Treasuier  of  the  Household  to  send  gold  and 
silver  cups  to  Scotland  for  presents,  dated  Edinburgh,  July  10, 
1381      Reg  II  48 

2  Warrant  dated  Pontefract  July  23,  1381      Reg  II,  51 

3  The  Duke  was  promised  the  wardship  of  the  first  heiress 



he  intended  to  have  satisfaction.  Far  more  heinous  In 
his  judgment  than  the  plot  of  the  rebels  against  his  life 
was  the  insolence  of  the  Earl  of  Northumberland.  Henry 
Percy  was  his  kinsman,1  had  been  his  friend ;  to  him  he 
owed  his  Earldom  and  the  Marshal's  staff.  John  of 
Gaunt  regarded  his  conduct,  therefore,  as  ingratitude  and 
disloyalty,  as  well  as  gross  disobedience  and  contempt  of 
the  King's  representative.  His  complaint,  laid  before 
the  King  at  Reading,  was  considered  at  an  extraordinary 
meeting  of  the  Council  at  Berkhamstead,3  but  Lancaster's 
demand  for  satisfaction  only  drew  angry  retorts  from 
Northumberland,  who,  disappointed  at  the  failure  of  his 
plan,  was  m  no  mood  for  conciliation.  Threats  and 
recriminations  were  exchanged  until  the  King  com 
manded  both  disputants  to  be  silent  The  Duke  was 
wise  enough  to  obey,  but  the  Earl,  losing  control  of  him 
self,  burst  out  into  violent  abuse  of  his  rival,  and  ended 
by  throwing  down  his  gage  of  battle  in  the  King's 
presence,  for  which  he  was  placed  under  arrest  until  the 

worth  less  than  1,000  marcs  in  the  King's  gift  Rot.  Pat  (Carte) 
208,  12 

1  They  were  third  cousins 

Henry,  3rd  Lord  Percy  of  Alnwick=Mary  Plantagenet,  sister  ot 

I  Henry,  Duke  of  Lancaster 

Henry,  4th  Lord = Margaret,  dau.     Sir  Thomas  Percy,  K.G 

Percy,  1377,  1st 
Earl  of  Northum 
berland,  b  1342, 
d  1407 

of  Ralf,  Lord 
Neville  of 
Raby,  d.  1372 

b   1345,  Earl  of  Worcester,  1398, 
d   1403 

Sir  Henry  Per cy= Elizabeth,  dau.  of    Sir  Thomas  Percy        Sir  Ralf  Percy 

KG  (Hotspur), 
b.  1366,  d  1403 

Philippa,  dau.  of 
Lionel,  Duke  of 

(the  younger),  d  1387 

Henry,  2nd  Earl  of  Northumberland 
2  Higd   ix    10-11. 



Earls  of  Warwick  and  Suffolk 1  went  surety  for  his  ap 
pearance  at  the  forthcoming  session  of  Parliament 

Sure  of  a  backing  from  the  Londoners  in  a  quarrel 
with  their  great  enemy,  Percy  forthwith  enrolled  himself 
as  a  citizen  of  London,  and  quartered  troops  of  borderers 
in  the  City,  But  if  it  were  to  come  to  fighting  the  Duke 
could  hold  his  own,  as  he  showed  when  at  the  end  of 
October  he  rode  out  of  Leicester  Castle  with  five  hun 
dred  men  at  his  back  As  the  session  of  Parliament 
approached  London  began  to  look  like  a  city  in  a  state 
of  siege  ;  barricades  were  thrown  up,  and  guards  were  set 
at  the  gates  in  case  the  Duke's  men  attempted  to  enter, 
— an  unnecessary  precaution,  for  Lancaster  quartered  his 
men  at  Fulham,  and  gave  the  City  a  wide  berth 

When  the  session  began  at  Westminster  on  Novem 
ber  3,2  nothing  could  be  done ,  the  quarrel  prevented  any 
pretence  of  transacting  public  business,  the  Peers  all 
came  armed  and  chose  sides,  and  things  looked  like  civil 
war  In  the  end  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  had  to 
submit.  It  was  not  only  a  gross  outrage  to  shut  the 
Duke  out  of  Bamborough,  but  disobedience  of  orders,  for 
the  Duke  held  the  King's  commission  Again  at  Berk- 
hamstead  Lancaster's  bearing  had  been  correct,  while 
Percy,  by  his  violence,  had  placed  himself  hopelessly  in 
the  wrong  The  sympathies  of  Parliament,  too,  were  on  the 
Duke's  side,  as  appeared  from  the  fact  that  the  Commons 
named  him  among  the  committee  of  consultative  peers, 
and  that  he  was  placed  at  the  head  of  a  committee 
appointed  to  reform  the  royal  household3  The  result 

1  William  TJfford,  who  died  a  few  weeks  later     Higd  ix    11 

2  Parliament  was  summoned  for  the  day  after  All  Saints  by 
writ  dated  August  22,  5  Rich  II   (Dugdale,  Summons,  308)  Rot 
Parl  in  98-113     The  first  session  lasted  till  December  13  ,   the 
adjourned  session  from  January  27  to  February  25,  1382     Rot 
Parl  111  113-122 

3  The  name  of  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  does  not  appear 
among  the  Tners  of  Petitions 



was  an  unconditional  surrender  on  the  part  of  the  Earl 
His  apology,  ample  enough  to  satisfy  the  King's  offended 
dignity  and  the  Duke's  honour,  unlike  that  made  by  the 
Earl  of  Arundel  four  years  later,  was  not  entered  upon 
the  Rolls  of  Parliament,  but  Lancaster  took  care  to  have 
it  enrolled  in  his  private  records 

Addressing  the  King  the  Earl  said : — "  My  honoured 
liege  Lord,  in  that  in  your  high  and  honourable  presence 
at  Berkhamstead,  I,  in  my  ignorance,  offended  you  by 
answering  without  leave  or  licence  my  Lord  of  Spain 
here  present  otherwise  than  I  ought  in  reason  to  have 
done,  and  by  throwing  down  my  gage  of  battle  before 
him,  I  submit  myself  to  your  grace  and  will,  and  pray  you 
pardon  my  offence." 

Then  turning  to  the  Duke  — "  My  Lord  of  Spam,  in 
that  in  the  presence  of  my  redoubted  Lord  the  King  at 
Berkhamstead  I  answered,  in  my  ignorance,  otherwise 
than  I  ought  to  have  done  to  you,  my  Lord,  who  are  son 
to  my  redoubted  Lord  the  King,  whom  God  pardon,  and 
uncle  to  my  redoubted  Lord  the  King  here  present,  and 
so  high  a  person  and  of  such  noble  royalty  of  blood,  and 
the  greatest  Lord  and  most  high  person  of  this  realm 
after  my  liege  Lord  the  King  here  present,  who  is  of  your 
blood  and  kindred,  and  also  in  that  I  cast  down  my  gage 
of  battle  before  you  in  the  presence  of  my  Lord  the  King, 
I  beseech  your  honourable  Lordship's  pardon  "  Once 
more  addressing  Richard,  the  Earl  said  . — "  My  Liege 
Lord,  as  for  the  disobedience  done  to  you,  God  knows 
that  never  was  it  my  will  or  intent  to  disobey  in  any  wise 
your  Royal  Majesty  And  if  through  ignorance  any 
disobedience  were  done,  I  submit  me  to  your  gracious 


Finally  turning  to  the  Duke  * — "  My  Lord  of  Spain,  if 
any  disobedience  were  done  to  you,  m  ignorance  or 
otherwise,  such  was  not  my  intent,  and  I  pray  you  pardon 
me  and  forego  your  anger.  And  as  for  the  disloyalty 



charged  against  me,  I  am  not  always  so  wise  or  well  ad 
vised  as  to  do  always  what  is  best ;  and  insomuch  as  I 
have  failed  to  do  my  duty  as  fully  and  naturally  to  your 
Lordship  as  I  might  have  done  and  as  I  was  bound  to 
do,  I  beseech  you  have  me  excused  of  your  good  lordship, 
which  I  desire  with  all  my  heart."  1 

After  this  apology  had  cleared  the  air  it  became  pos 
sible  to  proceed  to  business— the  business  of  restoring 

1  Apres  les  replications  Monseignur  Despaigne  sanz  responce 
del  Conte  de  Northumbreland  ce  fust  la  submission  du  dit  Conte 
en  pleine  Parlement 

Mon  treshonore  Seignur  Liege  quant  a  ce  que  en  vostre 
honorable  et  haute  presence  a  Berkhampstede  sanz  congie 
et  license  de  vous  monseignur  liege  par  ma  ignorance  Je  vous 
desplesa  respoignant  Monseignur  D'Espaigne  qi  si  est  autrement 
que  je  ne  devoi  de  reson  faire  et  en  mettant  mon  gage  devers 
lui  je  me  sumet  en  votre  grace  et  ordonance  et  vous  pne  de 
par  dormer  de  ma  desplesance 

Et  Monseignur  d'Espaigne  quant  a  ce  que  en  presence  mon 
tres  redoute  Seignur  le  Roi  a  Berkhamstede  je  vous  respondue 
par  ma  ignorance  autrement  que  je  ne  devoy  faire  a  vous  Mon 
seignur  qui  estez  filz  a  mon  tresredoute  Seignur  liege  le  Roi  qui 
Dieux  assoille  et  Uncle  a  mon  tresredoute  Seigneur  le  Roy  liege  qi 
si  estj  et  si  haute  persone  et-  de  si  tresnoble  regalite  de  sang  come 
vous  estez  Monseignur  et  auxint  a  vous  Monseignur  qui  estez 
le  plus  grant  seignur  et  plus  haute  persone  del  Roialme  apres 
rnon  Seignur  liege  le  Roi  qi  si  est,  et  est  de  votre  sang  et 
alliance  mettant  mon  gage  devers  vous  en  presence  Monseignur 
liege  le  Roy  qi  si  est  Je  vous  pne  pardon  de  votre  honourable 

Monseignur  lige  quant  a  la  desobeissance  envers  vous  dieux 
sait  que  unque  n'estoit  ma  volentee  ne  entente  a  desobeir 
aucunement  a  votre  Roiale  Mageste  Et  si  aucune  y  estoit 
par  ignorance  Je  me  en  souzmett  a  votre  gracieuse  ordenance 

Monseignur  d'Espaigne  si  aucune  desobeisance  estoit  fait  a 
vous  par  ignorance  ou  autrement  ce  n'estoit  mye  ma  entencion 
en  suppliant  que  vous  me  veullez  pardonner  votre  maltalent 

Et  quant  a  1'autre  matrre  touchante  disnaturesse  a  moy  sur 
mise  Je  ne  fu  mye  si  sages  ne  avisez  de  faire  toutdys  le  meilhour 
et  en  ce  que  je  n'ay  faite  si  naturelment  ne  si  plemement  mon 
devoir  devers  votre  seignune  come  je  pourroy  avoir  fait  ou  come 
je  fuy  tenuz  il  m'en  poise  fortment  et  vous  supphe  de  votre 
bone  seignune  la  quele  ]e  desire  de  tout  mon  cuer 

(Register,  II    f    153  inter  go  ) 


order  and  confidence  in  the  country  after  the  upheaval 
of  the  summer 

On  one  point  all  parties  were  agreed — cordial  support 
of  the  King's  action  in  cancelling  the  charters  of  manu 
mission  The  Commons  assumed  responsibility  for  the 
act  and  gave  it  their  sanction.  For  the  rest,  they  con 
tented  themselves  with  abusing  the  administration  and 
indulging  in  an  academic  analysis  of  some  of  the  social 
evils  of  the  times.  Their  reflections,1  which  are  interest 
ing  but  innocent  of  much  practical  result,  were  cut  short 
by  the  news  of  the  arrival  of  Anne  of  Bohemia,  the 
chosen  bride  of  Richard  II,2  and  the  session  was  ad 
journed  for  the  royal  marriage3  and  the  coronation  of 
the  young  Queen. 

1  Higd  ix  11  2  Cont    Eulog   11    355 

3  Kn   11.  150       Chr  Angl    331. 


Chapter  XII 


WHEN  Parliament  met  again  after  the  King's  mar 
riage,  for  the  adjourned  session,  it  must  have 
maikcd  the  strange  tenacity  of  purpose  shown  by  John 
of  Gaunt  in  the  pursuit  of  the  object  which  for  ten  years 
had  been  uppermost  in  his  mind — the  conquest  of  Castile 
It  was  a  perfectly  definite  proposal  which  the  Duke  laid 
before  Parliament  at  the  end  of  January,  1382  He  asked 
for  60,000  pounds  to  be  advanced  to  him  to  pay  two  thou 
sand  men-at-arms  and  two  thousand  archers  for  six 
months  for  operations  in  Portugal  and  Castile,  offering 
as  security  the  Lancastrian  estates,  and  undertaking, 
if  he  were  neither  killed  nor  captured,  to  repay  the  debt 
within  a  period  of  three  years,  either  in  money  or  service, 
at  the  King's  choice * 

It  was  unfortunate  for  the  Duke  that  the  proposal  came 
at  a  time  when  the  condition  of  England  was  so  unsettled, 
and  when  his  opponents  could  uige  the  danger  of  with 
drawing  a  considerable  body  of  fighting  men  from  the 
country.  This  consideration  had  weight  with  the  Com 
mons,  and  while  voting  supplies  for  the  next  few  years 
for  national  defence  and  for  "resisting  the  malice  of  the 
King's  enemies,"  they  declined  to  express  any  opinion  on 
the  question  whether  Lancaster's  proposal  would  or 
would  not  be  the  best  means  of  achieving  that 
object.  Going  further,  they  expressly  protested  that 
their  action  must  not  be  interpreted  directly  or 

Rot  Parl.  in. 


indirectly  as  sanctioning  the  scheme.1  Discussion  on 
the  policy  involved  had  been  heated,  and  the 
conclusion  bears  all  the  marks  of  compromise.  It 
was  understood  that  while  the  Commons  were  lukewarm, 
a  majority  of  the  Peers  favoured  the  scheme,  To 
pour  out  English  blood  and  treasure  in  the  dynastic 
quarrel  of  a  single  member  of  the  royal  family  might, 
to  the  clearer  and  cooler  heads,  appear  unjustifiable; 
but  England  had  grown  used  to  dynastic  quarrels.  The 
ambitions  of  Edward  III  were  as  personal  as  those  of 
his  son,  and  it  was  only  a  succession  of  great  victories 
which  had  made  his  private  quarrel  a  national  cause 
To  enlist  popular  sympathy  for  the  present  undertaking 
Lancaster  did  not  fail  to  dwell  on  the  effects  of  the 
Franco-Castilian  alliance  2  Two  years  before,  a  French 
and  Castilian  fleet  had  sailed  up  the  Thames  and  burnt 
Gravesend  The  damage  done  to  English  shipping  made 
it  easy  to  represent  the  expedition  as  a  matter  of  public 
policy,  and  to  urge  that  if  England  were  smarting  under 
the  loss  of  the  control  of  the  seas,  the  country  had  only 
to  support  the  Portuguese  alliance  to  restore  the  dis 
turbed  balance  of  naval  power. 

But  the  strongest  argument  that  the  supporters  of  the 
scheme  could  urge  was  that  public  faith  was  already 

1  Faisantz  nientmams    lour    protestation    expressement,   qe 
1'entention  de  la  Commune  d'Engleterre  n'est  mye    de    leur 
obliger  parmy  aucunes  paroles  devant  ditz  a  la  querele,  conquest, 
ou  la  guerre  del  Roialme  d'Espaigne  e*n  especial  par  aucune  voie, 
ernz  soulement  en  general,  al  defens  du  Roialme  d'Engleterre  et 
resistance  des  ditz  enemy s  (Rot  Parl  in  114) 

2  Within  a  few  days  of  his  accession  Juan  had  despatched  eight 
galleys  to  the  assistance  of  Charles  V     The  next  year  (1380),  at 
Seville,  "fizo  armar  veinte  galeas,  las  quales   envio   con   Don 
Ferrand  Sanchez  de  Tovar  su  Almrrante,  en  ayuda  del  Rey  de 
Francm  t  pero  el  Rey  de  Francia  pag6  lo  que  costaron  annar 
las  diez  galeas,  segund  los  tratos  que  eran  entre  ellos    Las  quales 
ncieron  grand  guerra  este  ano   a  los  Ingleses  por  la  mar ;  6 
entraron  por  el  no  de  Artarmsa  f  asta  cerca  de  la  cibdad  de  Londres, 
a  d6  galeas  de  enemigos  nunca  entraron  "    Ayala,  11  130 



pledged,  and  that  it  was  imperative  to  support  the  English 
army  then  in  Portugal  under  the  command  of  the  Earl 
of  Cambridge  To  understand  Lancaster's  position 
it  is  necessary  to  make  a  brief  retrospect  of  the  politics 
of  the  Spanish  peninsula,  and  his  share  in  them, 
during  the  period  between  the  proposal  to  Parliament 
of  January,  1382,  and  those  first  treaties  with  Portugal 
ten  years  earlier,  the  ef  ect  of  which  was  frustrated  by 
the  great  failure  of  1373 

The  throne  of  Portugal  in  1382  was  still  occupied  by 
Fernando  and  his  consort  Leonor  Their  most  powerful 
minister  was  Joao  Fernando  d' Andeiro,  Count  of  Ourem, 
Master  of  the  Order  of  St.  James  of  Portugal,  and,  unless 
Leonor  of  Portugal  has  been  deeply  wronged,  the  lover 
of  the  Queen 

In  1380  Andeiro  was  at  Richard's  court,  engaged  in 
procuring  a  renewal  of  the  former  treaties  between  England 
and  Portugal  and  in  particular  the  treaty  between  his 
master  and  the  claimant  of  the  Castilian  throne.1  For 
the  moment  the  mam  object  of  his  mission  was  unattain 
able,  for  the  condition  of  domestic  politics  kept  Lancaster 
at  home ,  but  the  Count  concluded  an  agreement  by  which 
the  Earl  of  Cambridge  was  to  be  sent  to  Portugal  with 
a  thousand  lances  and  as  many  archers,  to  make  a  com 
bined  attack  with  Fernando  upon  Juan  I  of  Castile,2 

1  Commission  from  Richard  II  dated  Westminster,  May  23, 
1380     Andeiro  was  in  England  at  the  time,  acting  as  inter 
mediary  between  the  two  courts     Foed,  VII  253-4 

2  See  in  Foed  VII   262-5, tnree  instruments  of  the  King  and 
Queen  of  Portugal  dated  Estremos,  July  15,  1380  (in  the  era  of 
Portugal,  1418) 

(1)  Renewal  in  favour  of  Richard  II  as  King  of  England  and 
France  of  the  previous  alliance  with  Edward  III,  concluded 
by    Juan   Fernandez   and   Vasco   Dominguez,   Canon  of 
Braganza     (Confirmed  by  Richard  II,  May  14, 1 38 1     Foed, 
VII  307) 

(2)  Renewal  of  the  alliance  with  John  of  Gaunt  as    King  of 
Castile,  concluded  by  the  same  envoys      (See  Ch  V  p   101 
and  note ) 



who  had  succeeded  his  father  Enrique  the  Bastard  in 

1379  * 

Juan  had  inherited  the  kingdom,  but  little  of  that  dash 
ing  courage  which,  in  spite  of  disaster,  had  set  up  the  House 
of  Trastamare  With  his  last  words  Enrique  II  had  urged 
his  heir  to  continue  the  French  alliance ,  the  first  act  of 
Juan  I  was  to  renew  that  alliance  and  send  a  fleet  to  the 
help  of  Charles  V.2  A  blind  reliance  on  France  supplied 
the  place  of  a  policy  with  the  Bastard's  degenerate  son , 
equally  distrustful,  with  perhaps  equal  justice,  of  him 
self  and  his  subjects,  the  young  king  looked  to  France  to 
maintain  the  power  which  France  had  created. 

From  the  day  of  his  accession  Juan  was  haunted  by  the 
spectre  of  the  Lancastrian  claim  While  John  of  Gaunt 
lived  Juan  could  know  no  peace.  In  renewing  the  old 
alliances  with  the  power  north  of  the  Pyrenees,  he 
was  careful  to  stipulate  that  if  ever  the  Duke  of  Lancaster 
were  captured  in  any  operations  of  the  allied  armies, 
the  prisoner  should  be  handed  over  to  him  to  be  dealt 
with  at  his  pleasure  3 

But  John  of  Gaunt  was  not  destined  to  languish  in  a 
Castilian  dungeon.  While  the  Duke  was  detained  in 
England  by  Border  politics  his  brother,  the  Earl  of  Cam 
bridge,  for  the  time  took  his  place,  and  in  1381  led  an 
English  army  to  fight  the  battles  of  Portugal  and 
Lancaster  against  their  common  enemy/ 

Leaving  England  in  June,  1381,  Cambridge  dropped 

(3)  Undertaking  (also  contained  in  2)  to  support  Cambridge's 
force  in  the  campaign  against  Castile  and  to  marry  the 
Infanta  Beatrix  to  his  son  Edward, 

1  Enrique  II  died  Monday,  May  30,  1379     Ayala,  u  123  (and 

2  Ayala,  u  138-9  ,  125 

3  Treaty  concluded  Bicdtre,  April  22,  1381      Pi&ces  In&htes, 
i  TS 

4  Orders  to  impress  ships  for  the  Earl  of  Cambridge,  dated 
May  12,1381      Foed,  VII  305      Juan  had  intelligence  of  the  pre 
parations     Ayala,  11  151-2 



anchor  in  the  Lisbon  roads  just  at  the  time  when  the  Essex 
peasants  were  wrecking  the  Savoy  and  the  Spanish 
admiral,  Tovar,  after  routing  a  Portuguese  fleet,  was 
landing  his  prisoners  at  Seville * 

The  first  part  of  the  engagements  concluded  by  the  Count 
of  Ourem  was  soon  fulfilled.  Fernando  of  Portugal  had 
no  heir.  His  little  daughter  Beatrix,  born  to  him  by 
Leonor  Telles  de  Meneses  (whose  husband  Joao  Louren^o 
da  Cunha  he  had  dnven  into  exile),  was  recognized  as 
heiress  of  the  kingdom,  and  the  Pope,  to  reward  the 
support  of  his  firmest  ally  in  the  peninsula,  had  covered 
by  a  Bull  of  legitimation  her  more  than  doubtful  birth. 

Immediately  after  Cambridge  and  his  men  had  reached 
Lisbon  this  child  was  married  to  Edward  Plantagenet, 
the  Earl's  son.  Then  the  English  marched  to  the 
frontier  and  waited  for  the  campaign  to  begin. 

They  waited  in  vain.  The  result  of  the  mission  of  the 
Count  of  Ourem  had  been  a  blow  to  his  master's  hopes. 
Instead  of  Lancaster  at  the  head  of  a  field  army,  determined 
toprosecute  his  quatrel  with  Castile  to  the  end,  Cambridge, 
a  man  of  no  energy  and  little  experience,  had  been  sent  to 
Portugal  with  a  force  which  by  his  own  admission  was 
only  strong  enough  for  a  reconnaissance  While  Fernando 
waited 2  for  Lancaster  and  the  bulk  of  the  invading  army 
which  he  had  been  led  to  expect,  Cambridge's  force, 
quartered  between  Estremos  and  Villaviciosa,  on  the 
nght  bank  of  the  Guadiana,  almost  within  sight  of  the 
Spanish  outposts,  grew  daily  more  discontented 

Their  orders  were  precise  There  was  to  be  no  attack. 
But  the  dull  routine  of  garrison  duty  in  Alemtejo  soon 

Ferrand  Sanchez  de  Tovar,  Admiral  of  Castile,  defeated  the 
Portuguese  Admiral  Juan  Alfonso  Tello,  brother  of  Leonor, 
the  Queen,  on  June  17  Cambridge  landed  about  the  same  tune 
at  Lisbon  Ayala,  ii  153 

2  One  difficulty  which  the  King  of  Portugal  had  to  face  was  that 
of  mounting  the  English  force,  a  treaty  obligation  Cambridge 
brought  no  horses  Ayala,  11  155 



exhausted  their  patience.  Ignoring  their  orders  and  the 
remonstrances  of  their  general,  the  Earl's  men  crossed  the 
river  and  sacked  a  few  of  the  enemy's  towns  out  of 
sheer  ennm  Disobedience  of  orders  was  made  a  pretext 
for  withholding  pay — the  worst  grievance  that  soldiers  of 
fortune  could  suffer  The  result  was  a  mutiny.  In  this 
expedition  the  Earl  of  Cambridge  counted  for  nothing. 
He  could  neither  manage  his  troops  nor  his  ally.  While 
he  remained  on  the  spot,  feebly  protesting,  a  deputation 
went  to  the  King  at  Lisbon  with  the  threat  that  if  he  did 
not  begin  fighting  they  would  begin  without  him,  and 
that  if  he  would  not  fulfil  his  treaty  obligations  by  paying 
their  wages  they  would  help  themselves 

The  argument  was  convincing ,  the  troops  were  paid 
and  Fernando  promised  to  open  the  campaign  in  June, 
In  spite  of  renewed  representations  to  the  English  court,1 
there  was  still  no  sign  of  Lancaster's  arrival.  From  the 
first  the  Portuguese  king  had  been  playing  a  double  game, 
for,  a  couple  of  months  after  the  offensive  alliance  with 
Richard  II  and  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  against  Castile, 
he  had  entered  into  absolutely  incompatible  engagements 
with  the  supposed  enemy 2  With  no  intentions  of  fight 
ing,  Fernando  marched  to  Elvas  in  the  summer  while 
the  enemy  advanced  to  Badajoz.  The  Guadiana  alone 
separated  the  two  armies,  but  nothing  happened  except 
negotiation 3 

It  was  useless  for  Lancaster  to  plead  the  cause  of  his 
brother  and  his  ally  in  Council  and  Parliament  First 

1  Venerunt  quidem  episcopus  et  quidem  miles  cancellarius 
regis    Portugaliae    duci  Lancastnae   missi   quatums    dingeret 
auxilium  fratn  suo  comiti  Cantabngiae      Sed  dum  ista  fierent 
concordati  sunt  reges     Higd  ix    15 

Louren£0  Foga9a;  the  Chancellor,  was  on  the  point  of  leaving 
England  for  Portugal  on  July  5,  1382  Foed,  VII  361. 

2  The  Infanta  Beatrix  of  Portugal  was  to  marry  the  Infante 
Enrique  oi  Castile  and  the  two  kingdoms  were  to  be  ultimately 
united     Ayala,  n  132 

3  Ayala,  u  156-7 



one  and  then  another  obstacle  was  thrown  in  his  wav 


The  Parliament  which  sat  at  Westminster  in  May,  I382,1 
had  refused  to  discuss  anything  but  a  proposal,  constantly 
debated  but  never  seriously  entertained,  for  the  King  to 
go  in  person  to  France 

In  October2  the  Duke  seemed  to  have  made  a  little 
progress,  for  one  of  the  first  subjects  put  forward  for  dis 
cussion  was  the  "  socours  de  les  nobles  gentz  esteantz 
en  Portugal,  illocques  esteanz  en  grant  peril  "  He  had 
lost  one  ally,  for  his  friend,  Richard  le  Scrope,  had 
been  forced  to  surrender  the  seal  in  July  3  for  a  sturdy 
opposition  to  Richard's  reckless  alienation  of  crown 
lands,  but  the  Bishop  of  Hereford  supported  the 
Duke's  policy,  and,  addressing  Parliament  in  the 
King's  name,  in  a  pessimistic  account  of  foreign 
relations,  assured  the  House  that  the  shortest  way 
to  the  goal  of  the  wars  was  a  vigorous  support  of  the 
Portuguese  undertaking 

The  kingdom,  he  told  the  House,  had  never  been 
in  greater  danger  :  its  very  existence  was  at  stake. 
But  the  Chancellor's  hopes  for  the  future  were  as 
bright  as  his  view  of  the  present  was  gloomy  It 
was  an  attractive  picture  that  he  sketched  for  the 
Commons  For  the  paltry  sum  of  £43,000  (it  had 
been  estimated  at  £60,000  before)  in  wages  for  the 
Duke's  army  the  Commons  would  get  a  speedy  and 
sure  return.  In  six  months  Lancaster,  with  the  help 
of  Heaven,  would  be  King  of  Spain,  and  England  would 
have  seen  the  last  of  the  war  and  war  budgets 

This  was  promising  still  more  so  was  the  attitude  of 
the  Commons  in  naming  not  only  Lancaster  but  Lords 

1  Parliament  sat  from  May  6  to  22  at  Westminster  ,  the  Duke 
as  usual  was  among  the  Triers  of  Petitions  Rot  Parl  in  122- 

2  Parhament  met  at  Westminster  on  October  6,  1382     Rot 
Parl  111  132-143) 

3  Higd   ix    14,  Wals  11,68-70;   Chr  Anglr  $$3-4 



Neville  and  Richard  le  Scrope  among  the  Peers  to 
confer  with  them  on  the  proposal  The  result  was  a 
victory  for  the  cause.  The  Commons  declared  the 
scheme  of  invasion  to  be  "  honourable  and  profitable 
for  the  realm,"  remarking  somewhat  pertinently  that  an 
army  of  two  thousand  men  seemed  scarcely  adequate 
for  the  conquest  of  Castile  At  length  the  scheme  was 
sanctioned  but  too  late  !  For  the  King  of  Portugal  at 
last  had  made  up  his  mind,  chosen  his  side  and 
made  terms  with  the  enemy  There  was  a  strong  party 
in  Castile  which  had  no  desire  to  see  Lancaster  on  their 
frontiers  reinforcing  a  Portuguese  army,  and  a  modus 
mvendi  had  been  reached  Quietly  ignoring  the  engage 
ments  just  entered  into,  Fernando  promised  the  hand 
of  his  daughter  Beatrix  to  the  second  son  of  the  King 
of  Castile,  and  made  peace  with  his  enemy  without 
consulting  his  ally 1 

Fernando  pleaded  that  he  had  not  been  treated  in  good 
faith.  He  had  been  led  to  expect  Lancaster  and  Lancaster 
had  not  come  Cambridge  could  only  protest  and  with 
draw  Taking  Prince  Edward  with  him  he  returned  to 
England,  out  of  temper  with  the  Government  which  had 
failed  to  support  him,  his  army  which  had  mutinied,  and 
his  ally  who  had  made  peace  behind  his  back.  To  com 
plete  his  humiliation  he  was  brought  home  in  a  Castihan 
fleet,  for  Juan,  only  anxious  to  be  rid  of  English  inter 
ference  in  the  politics  of  the  peninsula,  had  placed  ships 
at  the  disposal  of  his  new  ally  to  replace  the  fleet  cap 
tured  by  his  admiral  in  1381 2 

1  Ayala,  u    158-9     The  Infanta  Beatrix  had  already  been 
betrothed  three  times     (i)  to  Don  Fadrique,  brother  oi  Juan  I 
of    Castile  ,  (2)  to   Ennque    (III),    Infante    of    Castile ,  (3)  to 
Edward  Plantagenet,  and  now  (4)  to  Don  Fernando,  brother  of 
the  Infante  Enrique     For  (i )  and  (2)  see  Ayala,  u  1 3 1 

2  Ayala,  n  159-60      Higd    ix    14-15     Cambndge  returned 
to   England   about  Christmas,    1382.     He  sat  in  the  Parlia 
ment  which  met  on  February  23,  1383      Rot  Parl  m,  145 a 



At  the  close  of  1382  the  golden  opportunity  seemed  lost 
beyond  hope  So  sure  had  Lancaster  felt  of  succeeding 
that  before  the  end  of  the  October  Parliament  he  had 
called  out  his  retinue  and  made  preparations  for  the 
expedition  1 

Then  came  the  news  of  the  humiliating  fiasco.  To  the 
end  the  Duke  never  forgave  the  blundering  half-measures 
of  the  Government  and  his  brother's  incompetence,  and 
seventeen  years  later  in  his  will  he  expressly  disclaimed 
any  responsibility  for  the  cost  of  Cambridge's  expedition. 

His  disappointment  at  the  result  of  his  brother's 
achievements  in  Portugal  was  shared  by  others  also. 
It  was  quite  clear  that  the  money  spent  on  the  expedi 
tion  was  so  much  waste,  and  the  undertaking  itself  one 
of  those  costly  half-measures  that  could  satisfy  no  one. 
Its  uselessness  was  certainly  realized  by  the  Parliament 
which  sat  at  Westminster  in  February  and  March,  1383,* 
a  session  decidedly  hostile  to  Lancastrian  influences 
The  Commons  showed  their  hostility  first  by  omitting 
the  Duke's  name  from  the  list  of  advisory  Peers,  and 
secondly,  by  actively  opposing  his  wishes 

Departing  from  their  usual  attitude  of  reserve  in  relation 
to  foreign  policy,  the  Commons,  alarmed  at  the  attitude 
of  the  Scots,  entreated  the  King  neither  to  leave  England 
himself  in  the  existing  condition  of  foreign  affairs,  nor  to 
allow  his  uncles  to  withdraw  from  the  country,  which 
needed  their  protection  3  They  went  further,  and  peti 
tioned  Richard  to  listen  to  the  proposals  of  his  Gascon 
vassal,  the  Sieur  de  Lesparre,  who  professed  to  have 

1  Warrant  dated  November  20,  1382     Reg  II.  f  65 

2  Parliament  was  summoned  for  Monday  in  the  third  week  of 
Lent  by  writ  dated  January  7j  1383  (Dugdale,  Summons,  315  )  Rot 
Par  I  lii  144-8) 

3  Semble  a  la  Commune  avaunt  dite,  que  vous  notre  Seigneur 
lige,  ne  mil  de  voz  trois  Uncles,  de  Lancastre,  de  Cantebr',  et  de 
Bukyngham,  purra  quant  au  present  estre  desportez  hors  de 
votre  Roialme  (Rot  Part  in  145  b) 



found  a  convincing  solution  of  the  Spanish  problem, 
showing  thereby  an  unmistakable  unwillingness  to  be 
drawn  further  into  the  vortex  of  Lancastrian  dynastic 

This  recommendation  had  weight :  John  of  Gaunt  could 
not  ignore  it.  Probably  the  dispatches  of  his  trusted 
councillor  Juan  Guttierez,  now  Bishop  of  Dax,  who  was 
in  Spain  at  the  time,  contained  matter  for  serious  reflection 
At  any  rate,  as  there  seemed  no  prospect  of  succeeding 
by  force,  the  Duke  was  persuaded  to  try  other  means. 
The  inheritance  of  Don  Pedro  was  still  an  asset,  and 
though  difficult  to  realize,  something  could  be  raised  on  it. 
War  being  for  the  time  out  of  the  question,  the  Duke 
raised  no  objection  to  diplomacy  The  duel  was  not  to 
be  foregone,  but  he  would  change  the  broadsword  for  the 
foil  In  April,  I383>  he  acquiesced  in  the  appointment 
of  commissioners  to  find  a  pacific  settlement  of  the 
differences  between  England,  himself,  and  Castile,2  and 

1  Item,  la  Commune  pnerent  a   notre  Seignur  le  Roi,  qu'il 
vousist  doner  ascout  et  audience  al  Seignur  de  la  Sparre,  qi 
novelment  s'estoit  venuz  del  Roialme  d'Espaigne,  lequiel  Seignur 
dit,  et  il  se  face  fort,  que  a  1'aide  notre  Seignur  de  Roi,  si  vous 
notre  Seignur  lige  vorrez  a  ce  encliner  de  votre  grace,  qu'il  vous 
monstrera  diverses  bones  et  honorables  voies,  par  lesquelles  vous 
pourrez  bien  honorablement  vemr  a  la  Paix  avec  le  dit  Roialme 
d'Espaigne,  laquelle  Paix  si  vous  notre    Seignur  Lige  purrez 
avoir,  votre    honor  salvez,  pur  Dieux  le  vorrez  rescevier    et 
prendre,  pour  grant  profit  de  vous  et  de  votre  Roilame,  et   quiete 
de  vos  subgitz 

A  quoy  f  eust  responduz  de  par  le  Roi  de  son  commandment, 
Qe,  le  Roi  s'adviseroit  avec  les  seignurs  de  son  roiaume1,  et  sur 
ce  par  lour  advis  ent  ferroit  ce  qe  lui  sembleroit  a  faire  en  le  cas, 
son  honor  salve  (Rot  Parl  111  148  b). 

2  Dated  April  i,  1383     They  are  also  accredited  to  the  courts 
of  Aragon  and  Navarre,  and  empowered  to  make  terms  with  the 
King's  rebellious  Gascon  vassal,  the  Count  of  Armagnac      Foed, 
VII  386-90     Warrant  dated  April  19,  1383,  to  the  Treasurer  of 
the  Household  to  pay  ^40  to  the  Bishop  of  Dax  for  his  journey 
to  Spam    Reg  II  i  72.   The  departure  from  England  of  Alfonso 
Ruys,  Knight  of  Cordova,  envoy   from   Portugal,   closes    the 



the  diversion  of  the  martial  enthusiasm  of  his  country 
men  into  a  different  channel 

When  the  Parliament  of  the  autumn  of  1382  had 
approved  of  the  project  of  invading  Castile,  it  had  at  the 
same  time  given  a  still  more  pronounced  opinion  in 
favour  of  another  proposal — an  expedition  to  Flanders 
to  support  Ghent  against  Bruges,  and  the  popular  party 
of  Flanders  against  the  Count  and  French  influence 
The  Count  was  a  Clementist,  and  his  suzerain  Charles, 
King  of  France,  was  the  strongest  supporter  of  the 
Anti-pope  Therefore  Urban  had  uiged  the  invasion 
of  Flanders  and  had  consecrated  the  expedition  with  the 
sanctity  of  a  crusade  This  crusade  was  the  pet  project 
of  Henry  le  Spencer,  Bishop  of  Norwich  The  Bishop 
was  one  of  those  prelates  who  were  particularly  obnoxious 
to  the  Duke  of  Lancaster.  Like  William  Courtenay,  he 
had  strong  family  influence,  great  energy  and  ambition 
of  a  pronounced  secular  flavour  He  represented  the 
system  denounced  by  Wycliffe  in  the  interests  of  apostolic 
purity  and  detested  by  John  of  Gaunt  in  the  interests  of 
feudal  power.  The  Bishop's  hobby  was  fighting.  His 
exploits  in  this  direction  won  him  the  favoui  of  the  Pope, 
the  nickname  "  Pugil  Ecclesie  "  and,  later,  a  place  among 
Capgrave's  portraits  of  the  "  Illustrious  Henries  "  i  In 
his  youth  he  had  fought  the  enemies  of  the  Church  in  the 
service  of  Urban  V  His  reward  was  the  Bishopric  of 
Norwich,  granted  by  Papal  provision  in  1370  Then,  for  ten 
years  the  unfortunate  prelate  had  been  condemned  to 
the  dull  routine  of  diocesan  work.  His  opportunity  came 
again  in  13813  when  in  the  universal  panic  of  the  Peasants' 
Rebellion,  the  Bishop  had  scored  some  successes  over 
the  insurgents  in  East  Anglia,  and  had  duly  confessed 

negotiation  with  Don  Fernando     See    Letters  of  Protection, 
dated  June  9,  1383      Foed,  VII  396 

1  In  robore  juventutis  sola  bella  sitire  visus  est      Capgrave, 
Dt  Ittustyibus  Hennas,  170 



and  hanged  the  ringleaders  of  the  revolt  A  little  success 
is  a  dangerous  thing  Flushed  with  his  triumph  over 
a  disorderly  mob  of  half-armed  peasants,  the  Bishop 
aspired  to  lead  armies  against  the  enemies  of  the  faith 
and  to  win  the  fame  of  a  Crusader. 

To  the  disgust  of  Lancaster  and  the  Peers,  in  1383  he 
was  allowed  to  lead  an  expedition  to  Flanders  in  fulfil 
ment  of  the  Pope's  commission  l 

Devout  ladies,  fascinated  by  the  dashmg  piety  of  this 
hero  of  the  Church  Militant,  contributed  gold  and  jewels, 
and  the  doctrines  of  purgatorial  toiment  denounced  by 
Wychffe's  preaching  were  exploited  to  their  full  value 
to  fill  the  Bishop's  war-chest 

Landing  in  Flanders,  he  took  Gravehnes  and  marched 
into  Dunkirk  without  much  difficulty,  commemorating 
his  victories  over  the  peaceful  Flemings,  who  were  as  good 
subjects  of  Urban  as  himself,  by  the  pompous  title  of 
"  Conqueror  of  West  Flanders."  There  his  short  career 
of  victory  ended  There  was  no  discipline  among  his 
mob  of  armed  priests,  sham  regulars  and  sanctified  ad 
venturers  His  captains  got  out  of  hand,  and  some  of 
them  were  suspected  of  negotiating  with  the  enemy  The 
Bishop,  having  undertaken  the  siege  of  Ypres  to  please 
Ghent,  was  compelled  to  withdraw  on  the  advance  of 
a  French  army,  and  to  shut  himself  up  in  Gravehnes, 
After  an  ignommous  failure  he  was  released  by  the  good 
offices  of  the  Duke  of  Brittany  and  allowed  to  return  to 
England  The  Bishop,  who  had  set  out  "  en  estabks- 
ment  de  seint  Esglyse,"  beyond  slaughtering  a  few 
thousand  faithful  subjects  of  the  canonical  Pope,  had 
done  nothing.  He  had  thrown  away  the  forces  which 
Lancaster  wanted  to  lead  against  Castile,  and  on  his 
return  he  was  punished  with  the  loss  of  his  temporalities, 
while  to  complete  his  humiliation  he  was  made  to  pay  for 
masses  for  the  souls  of  those  whom  he  had  destroyed  ! 

355,  Wals,  u   71-82,88-104,  Eulog  357 


"  Benedictus  Deus  qui  confundit  insolentes  " — such 
is  the  comment  of  the  continuator  of  the  Eulog^um 

Another  failure  was  registered  in  the  account  of  the 
executive.    Little  wonder  that   the  Commons  began  to 
weary  of  the  constant  proposals  for  war.    In  the  summer 
of    1383  the  Duke  had   concluded   a  truce  with  the 
Scots     That  was  so  much  to  the  good,  for  the  country 
was  growing  daily  more  anxious  for  peace     But  instead 
of  building  "  castles  in  Spam  "  the  Duke  had  to  under 
take  yet  further  diplomatic  duties,  for  when  Parliament 
met    at    Westminster    in    October,1    foreign    relations 
were  once  more  the  burning  question  of  the  hour.    The 
great  seal  was  now  in  the  hands  of  the  Duke's  friend  Sir 
Michael  de  la  Pole,  and  the  Chancellor,  in  declaring  the 
causes  of  the  summons  of  Parliament,  laid  stress,  undue 
stress  it  might  seem,  on  the  dangers  of  the  kingdom 

On  all  sides,  France,  Spam  and  Flanders,  England  was 
encompassed  by  enemies.  Unless  God  of  His  grace 
should  provide  a  remedy,  and  the  faithful  Commons  do 
their  part,  the  greatest  mischief  might  ensue.  The  result 
was  that  John  of  Gaunt  was  sent  to  France,  where  in  the 
following  January  he  concluded  a  short  truce. 

All  this  had  done  nothing  directly  towards  the  achieve 
ment  of  the  great  quest  In  the  autumn  of  1383  the 
dynastic  claim  seemed  to  have  merely  an  academic 
interest  for  politics.  Mismanagement  and  misfortune 
had  combined  to  rum  the  chances  of  invading  Castile 
with  the  help  of  Portugal 

Suddenly  a  gleam  of  hope  broke  across  the  darkness 
of  the  situation.  When  the  Earl  of  Cambridge  left 
Portugal  at  the  end  of  1382,  taking  Edward  Plantagenet 
away  from  his  child-bride  the  Infanta  Beatrix,  who  for 
a  while  is  the  pivot  of  Peninsula  politics,  her  hand 
had  just  been  pledged  by  his  fickle  ally  to  the  second 
son  of  the  King  of  Castile. 

1  Rot  Parl  iii,  149-65. 



After  four  successive  betrothals  the  Infanta  at  length 
found  a  husband,  for  in  1382  the  Queen  of  Castile  died, 
and  the  next  year  Juan  I,  supplanting  his  son,  married 
the  heiress  of  the  kingdom  of  Portugal  himself.  Solemn 
oaths  bound  the  nobles  of  both  kingdoms  to  accept  the 
ultimate  union  of  their  crowns.  By  the  marriage  treaty 
it  was  provided  that  on  the  death  of  Don  Fernando, 
Leonor  his  widow  should  be  regent  until  the  child  to  be 
born  of  the  union  of  Juan  and  Beatrix  reached  the  age  of 
fourteen  ,  then  the  heir  to  Castile  should  become  sovereign 
of  Portugal,  and  Portugal  and  Castile  should  become  one. 

Fernando  had  agreed  with  his  adversary  in  haste , 
his  subjects  were  left  to  repent  at  leisure.  To  the  forces 
of  disunion,  difference  of  race  and  language,  blood  and 
tradition,  must  be  added  the  bitter  hatred  bred  by  long 
feuds  on  the  border,  for  in  the  fourteenth  century 
Portuguese  hated  Castilian  as  the  Scot  hated  his  southern 

These  passions,  instinct  of  race  and  a  fierce  love  of 
independence,  Fernando  had  chosen  to  defy  When  the 
time  came  it  is  not  surprising  that  two-thirds  of  those 
who  had  sworn  to  the  marriage  treaty  of  Badaj6z  in 

1382,  broke  their  oaths,  and  would  have  none  of  the  foreign 
dynasty.    The  day  of  reckoning  came  soon,  for  in  October, 

1383,  Fernando  died,  and  the  question  of  the  succession 
was  opened  at  once,     Leonor  his  widow  ought  by  the 
terms  of  the  treaty  to  have  become  Regent,  but  Juan  of 
Castile  at  once  assumed  the  royal  style  of  Portugal  and 
prepared  to  enforce  his  claim  by  arms.    A  possible  pre 
tender,   Joao,  half-brother  of  the  late  king  by  Inez  de 
Castro,  was  seized  and  imprisoned  in  Castile     But  there 
was  another  Joao,  also  half-brother  of  the  late  king,  who 
was  to  prove  a  more  formidable  rival,  and  he,  as  fate 
would  have  it,  had  been  left  out   of  the  reckoning. 

Joao,  afterwards  surnamed  "  de  Boa  Memoria,"  the 
hero  of  Portuguese  independence,  whose  fortunes  now 




find  a  place  in  the  Lancastrian  story,  was  the  son  of 
Pedro  I  and  Theresa  Louren£0,  and  Grand  Master  of 
one  of  the  four  great  orders  of  chivalry  in  Portugal, 
the  Cistercian  Order  of  Avis. 

Within  two  months  of  Dom  Fernando's  death  the  cities 
of  Portugal  elected  him  Regent 

Being  a  man  of  action,  his  first  step  was  to  kill  the 
Count  of  Ourem,  a  veteran  intriguer  who  had  negotiated 
the  hated  marriage  of  the  Infanta  Beatrix  to  the 
Castilian  king,  and  who,  with  the  help  of  his  paramour, 
the  Queen,  was  trying  to  sell  his  country  into  bondage 

The  Count  disposed  of,  Queen  Leonor  was  dismissed 
to  repent  in  a  cloister.  At  first  the  Portuguese  tried  to 
reconcile  the  Infanta's  claims  with  national  independence 
To  acknowledge  Beatrix  as  Queen  in  theory  and  to  vest  the 
royal  power  in  the  Regent  was  the  first  solution  attempted 
But  no  peaceful  solution  was  possible,  for  the  enemy  were 
overrunning  the  country,  and  Leonor,  to  avenge  her 
lover's  death,  had  transferred  her  treaty  rights  as  Regent 
to  the  invader  Juan  advanced  through  the  heart  of 
Portugal,  occupied  Santarem  and  shut  up  Dom  Joao  in 
Lisbon.  For  four  months  the  siege  dragged  on,  until 
the  plague  threatened  to  annihilate  the  army  of  Castile 
and  forced  Don  Juan  to  withdraw 

Meanwhile  the  Regent  had  sent  to  England  for  help 
Once  more  a  Portuguese  ruler  was  in  difficulties,  the 
enemy  being  a  pnnce  of  the  House  of  Trastamare,  and 
once  more  it  was  to  England  that  Portugal  turned  for 
help1    The  new  Master  of  the  Order  of  St   James,  Dom 

1  Acordaram  de  enviar  pedir  a  el  rei  de  Inglaterra  que  Ihe 
prouvesse  dar  lugar  e  hcer^a  aos  do  seu  reino,  que  por  soldo  e 
a  sua  vontade  viessem  ajudar  contra  seus  immigos  (Fernao  Lopes, 
i  141)  The  envoys  left  Lisbon  at  the  ejid  of  March,  1384  (ibid, 
v  80),  landed  at  Plymouth  on  April  10  and  did  not  return  until 
1386,  when  they  landed  at  Cortina  on  July  5  Lopes  makes  a 
mistake  of  a'  year  when  he  says  (v  no)  "Os  quaes  duraram  fora 
do  reino  do  dia  que  partiram  de  Lisboa  ate  que  chegaram  a 



Fernando  Affonso  de  Albuquerque  and  Lourengo  Annes 
Fogaca,  Chancellor  of  Portugal,  were  despatched  to 
recruit  in  the  dominions  of  Portugal's  traditional  ally.1 

In  spite  of  Dom  Fernando's  treatment  of  the  last  English 
army  which  had  come  to  the  Peninsula,  the  envoys  found 
no  difficulty  in  raising  a  strong  body  of  men  A  stream 
of  volunteers,  archers  and  men-at-arms  flowed  from  Eng 
land  to  Portugal,  and  their  help  in  the  great  crisis  of 
Portuguese  history  was  never  forgotten,  for  the  English 
contingent  had  no  small  part  m  the  victories  of  the 
campaign  which  followed. 

Such  support,  however,  was  purely  voluntary  and  un 
official  ,  the  ambassadors  hoped  for  something  more.  Their 
credentials  were  addressed  not  only  to  Richard  II,  but 
to  the"  King  of  Castile,"  and  they  were  charged  with  the 
duty  of  renewing  the  proposals  made  by  Fernando  before 
the  fiasco  of  1381-2  for  joint  operations  against  Juan  of 

Once  more  John  of  Gaunt  began  the  task  of  impor 
tuning  King  and  Parliament  for  men  and  money  to 
fight  his  battles. 

For  the  next  few  years  the  chief  interest  of  his  life  and 
the  key  to  his  position  in  domestic  politics,  is  to  be  found 
in  his  foreign  relations,  in  his  efforts  to  overcome  the 

Corunha  trez  annos  e  trez  mezes  e  vinte  e  cinco  dias  Trez 
should  be  dois,  viz  March  3,^1384  (1383,  old  style,  which  probably 
explains  the  error)  to  July  5^  1386 

1  For  recruiting  in  England  by  the  Master  of  St  James  and  Chan 
cellor  of  Portugal,  see  licence  dated  July  28, 1384  (Foed  VII,  436) , 
letters  of  protection  for  thirty  recruits  dated  December  ist,  1384  , 
(ibid  450-1),  for  fifty-five  more  dated  January  16,  1385  (ibid. 
454) ,  orders  to  arrest  ships  for  their  passage  to  Portugal  dated 
January  8,  1385  (ibid  453) ,  orders  to  arrest  all  Portuguese  ships 
m  English  ports  and  to  hand  them  over  to  the  Chancellor  and 
Grand  Master,  dated  January  23  (ibid  455),  and  May  26,  1385 
(ibid  472-3) ,  appointment  of  commissioners  of  array,  February 
*6,  1385  (ibid.,  462-3),  letters  of  protection  for  the  Portuguese 
envoys  for  a  further  period  of  six  months,  dated  October  20, 
1 385  (ibid.  479) 



obstacles  successively  placed  in  his  path,  until  at  length 
the  very  jealousy  and  suspicion  which  had  thwarted  his 
designs  overreached  itself  and  conceded  him  his  desire. 

It  was  obvious  that  so  long  as  the  Commons  continued 
to  feel  the  neivousness  on  the  score  of  foreign  relations 
which  they  had  displayed  m  recent  Parliaments,  the 
Duke  would  never  induce  them  to  vote  supplies  for 
an  army  to  invade  Castile  His  task  therefore  was  to 
remove  apprehension  by  improving  the  relations  between 
England  and  her  enemies,  and  this,  with  the  attempt  to 
keep  the  peace  among  the  factions  at  home,  fully  occupied 
him  for  the  next  few  years  In  December,  1383,  and  the 
January  following  he  was  at  Calais,  debating  terms  with 
the  Dukes  of  Bern  and  Brittany  for  the  renewal  of  the 
truce ;  the  result  was  the  Truce  of  Lelinghen,1  the  half 
way  house  between  Calais  and  Boulogne,  where  so  many 
French  and  English  envoys  met,  by  which  peace  was 
assured  until  September  29,  1384.  If  the  period  were 
short,  and  seemed  a  poor  result  for  two  months'  negotia 
tions  carried  on  as  usual  at  ruinous  expense,  it  was  at 
least  a  diplomatic  victory  for  Lancaster,  for  he  had 
secured  one  concession  all-important  for  his  object — the 
Scots  were  to  be  free  to  come  within  the  provisions  of  the 

To  induce  the  allies  of  Charles  VI  to  profit  by  this 
condition  was  another  matter. 

The  truce  with  Scotland  ran  out  on  February  2 
The  Scots  lost  no  time  ;  on  the  5th  Archibald  Douglas, 
Lord  of  Galloway,  that  dark  spare  big-boned  hero  of  the 

1  For  the  negotiations  of  December,  1383,  and  January,  1384, 
ending  with  the  truce  of  Lelinghen,  concluded  January  26,  1384, 
see  Rehgieux  de  St  Denys,  i  299,  and  Pavtw  In6dtte  des  Grandes 
Chromques  de  France  (Pierre  d'Orgemont),  p  44 ,  Lancaster's 
powers,  dated  September  8, 1383  (Foed>VlI,  407-8),  notification  of 
the  appointment  of  the  envoys,  dated  September  12  and  Novem 
ber  4  (ibid  408-410) ,  letters  of  safe  conduct  for  the  French 
envoys  dated  November  and  Decembei  (ibid  412-8) 



Scotichronicon,  who  with  eighty  men  could  rout  an 
army  of  two  thousand  and  take  five  hundred  prisoners, 
surprised  Lochmaben  Castle,  and  a  little  later  the  Baron 
of  Greystock,  while  on  his  way  to  Roxburgh,  was  captured 
by  the  Earl  of  March,  who  carried  him  off  to  Dunbar,  and 
set  before  him  a  feast  served  from  his  own  plate  in  a 
hall  hung  with  his  own  tapestries  Meanwhile,  envoys  to 
Scotland  were  in  England  commissioned  to  lay  the  terms 
before  the  Scots  1 

On  Lancaster's  return  the  English  Government, 
annoyed  by  the  reverse  in  Annandale,  schemed  for 
revenge  by  means  which  can  only  be  described  as 
sharp  practice  2 

The  French  envoys  were  entertained  with  unnecessary 
cordiality,  and  every  inducement  was  held  out  to  them 
to  prolong  their  stay  in  the  south,  for  the  Government 
intended  to  strike  a  blow  before  the  Scots  could  come 
within  the  provisions  of  the  truce.  Unfortunately  they 
were  hampered  in  their  choice  of  a  general  Any  military 
command  went  as  a  matter  of  course  to  the  Duke  of 
Lancaster,  and  the  Duke  was  therefore  sent  north  with 
orders  to  ravage  the  Lowlands  and  avenge  the  loss  of 
Annandale  John  of  Gaunt  had  his  private  reasons  for 
wishing  well  to  his  late  hosts,  but  apart  from  personal 
motives,  he  had  made  it  his  settled  policy  to  cultivate  good 
relations  with  the  northern  neighbours.  But  further, 
to  invade  Scotland  at  the  present  moment  was  to  stultify 
the  whole  of  the  negotiations  just  concluded  at  Lehn- 
ghenand  to  throw  away  the  whole  result  of  his  labours. 
Lancaster  was  not  a  man  to  set  aside  the  policy  of  years 
at  the  bidding  of  the  King's  Council  Regarding  the 
invasion  as  a  flagrant  act  of  bad  faith,  but  being  unable 
to  prevent  it,  he  determined  to  carry  out  his  instruc- 

1  Letters  of  safe-conduct,  dated  February  13, 1384     Foed,  VII 

2  Exchequer  Rolls  of  Scotland,  Vol  III.  bun  (Introduction). 



tions  in  such  a  way  as  to  inflict  as  little  damage  as 

The  rendezvous  was  Newcastle  on  March  24,*  and  the 
Duke  entered  Scotland  on  April  4,  and  following 
the  east  coast  route  via  Haddington,  Berwick,  Dunbar 
and  Preston,  marched  on  Edinburgh 2  A  flotilla  of  store 
ships  followed  the  army  from  the  Humber,  as  before 
during  the  invasion  of  Edward  III  in  1355.  A  couple 
of  ships  were  surprised  at  Queensferry— the  only  loss 
in  action  during  the  whole  military  promenade,  for 
the  Scots,  true  to  their  usual  policy,  avoided  the  enemy 
and  withdrew  to  the  north  of  the  Firth,  Arriving 
within  striking  distance  of  Edinburgh  the  Duke  called  a 
halt,  and  refused  to  leave  his  camp  until  the  citizens  had 
had  time  to  remove  their  property  When  the  army 
entered,  the  city  was  deserted  All  movables  had  been 
carried  away ,  looting  was  impossible,  and  wrecking  was 
forbidden  by  the  most  stringent  orders  Holyrood  Abbey, 
where  the  Duke  had  stayed  in  the  troubled  days  of  1381, 
and  the  city  itself  were  saved  from  the  flames  Was 
there  no  fair  chatelaine  to  entreat  the  general  to  spare 
Edinburgh  as  the  Countess  of  Douglas  had  entreated 
Edward  III  thirty  years  before  ?  Or  must  the  more 
prosaic  story  of  a  ransom3  be  accepted  ?  The  fact  remains, 

1  Mandate  dated  March  17  to  the  Sheriff  of  Lancaster  to  meet 
the  Duke  with  all  men-at-arms  and  archers  arrayed  within  the 
Duchy  at  Newcastle  on  March  24     Record  Report,  xl   Ap   (4,), 
No  35,    Cf  ibid  No  36,37 

2  For  the  demonstration  in  Scotland,  Apnl  3-18,  1384,  see 
Cronyktl  of  Scotland,  Ch  V  §  2,  p    20  ,  Scotichromcon,  xiv  48 , 
Hig  ix  32,  Kn  11    203,  Wals   u  111-112,  Chr  Angl    358-9, 
Y-pod  Neust  339  ,  Mon  Evet  50, 

3  Bot  thai  that  dwelt  into  the  towne 
Gert  it  be  sawfiyt  for  ransowne 

— Cronykil  of  Scotland 

Sed  propter  Scotorum  cunalitatem  sibi  per  pnus     exhibitam 
quanto  mums  potuit  malum  eis  ingessit   burgenses  favorabili 
summa  pecumae  promissa  et  postea  soluta    villam    redimenmt 
Scotichromcon  ibid)     Malverne  has  the  same  story 



that  the  Duke,  out  ol  gratitude  to  his  Scottish  hosts,  and 
in  pursuance  of  his  policy,  refused  to  allow  a  single  house 
to  be  burned 

By  April  23  he  was  back  at  Durham  His  demonstra 
tion  had  only  lasted  a  fortnight,  and  beyond  burning 
a  few  villages  on  the  march  and  destroying  some 
of  the  woods  of  the  Lothians,  he  had  done  nothing ; 
but  the  spring  had  been  exceptionally  severe,  and  the 
army  had  suffered  accordingly 

Before  leaving  the  North  the  Duke,  in  consultation  with 
his  friend  and  recent  enemy,  Henry  Percy,  drew  up  an 
agreement  as  to  the  defence  of  the  border x  Percy  was 
to  have  his  wish  ,  the  command  of  the  whole  border  from 
Carlisle  to  Berwick  was  placed  in  his  hands,  but  the  Duke 
took  care  that  with  this  power  the  Earl  should  accept  full 
responsibility  for  the  safety  of  the  northern  counties,  and 
had  the  agreement,  which  reads  like  a  treaty  between 
two  hostile  powers,  ratified  by  the  King  in  Parlia 

It  might  have  been  expected  that  Parliament,  which 
had  been  summoned 2  to  meet  at  Salisbury  on  April  29, 
would  show  signs  of  resentment  at  the  Duke's  inaction 
in  the  North,  This,  however,  was  not  the  case.  After 
the  Chancellor,  Sir  Michael  de  la  Pole,  had  declared  the 
causes  of  summons,  the  House  was  at  once  adjourned 
till  the  following  Wednesday,  to  await  the  arrival  of  Mon- 
seigneur  d'Espaigne  and  his  suite,  who  were  still  on  the 
border  The  Duke  had  not  arrived  on  Monday,  May  9, 
when  the  Commons  named  their  committee  of  advisors, 
but  so  soon  as  he  reached  Salisbury  they  added  his  name 
to  the  list. 

The  most  important  subject  for  discussion  was  the 

1  Dated  Durham,  April  23,  1384     (Feed,  VII  425) ,  ratified  in 
the  Salisbury  Parliament,  May  16,  1384  (Foed,  VII  427). 

2  By  writ  dated  March  3,  1384  (Dugdale,  Summons,  320),     It 
sat  from  April  29  to  May  27      (Rot    Part  mt  166-183  ) 



policy  to  be  adopted  with  regard  to  the  war.  With 
due  safeguards  to  the  King's  prerogative  the  Commons 
were  invited  to  give  their  opinion  They  had  not 
yet  aspired  to  control  foreign  relations,  and  their  reply 
recognized  that  foreign  policy  was  properly  a  matter  for 
the  King  and  Council  But  their  attitude  was  clear  ,  it 
amounted  to  an  unmistakable  approval  of  the  Duke's 
policy  so  far  as  France  was  concerned  If  "  peace  with 
honour  "  could  be  had,  the  Commons  would  welcome  it 
and  with  it  a  relief  from  war  taxation,  and  were 
content  to  leave  questions  of  detail  to  the  King  and 
his  advisers  1 

Unhappily,  discussion  of  policy  was  hampered  by  violent 
personal  quarrels.2  Peers  quarrelled  with  one  another 
and  with  the  King  The  Earl  of  Arundel,  the  strongest 
man  among  the  opposition  and  the  most  determined 
enemy  of  the  King  and  the  young  Court  party,  chose  the 
moment  to  launch  a  wholesale  denunciation  of  the 
government  and  ministers,  telling  the  King  that  his 
advisers  were  at  fault,  the  administration  was  incapable 
and  the  country  was  going  to  destruction 

Richard  flew  into  a  passion.  White  with  fury,  he  gave 
the  Earl  the  lie.  "  If  you  say  that  I  am  at  fault,"  the  King 
shouted,  "  you  he  in  your  throat ;  go  to  the  devil." 3 
This  was  unparliamentary  language.  The  Lords  of  the 
Council  and  his  intimates  knew  Richard's  temper  and 
were  not  to  be  surprised  at  such  unseemly  outbursts, 
but  Parliament  was  astounded  at  this  public  affront  to  a 
man  of  Arundel's  position  There  was  an  uncomfortable 

1  Rot  Parl  111  i68a  Cf  i;oa  la  dite  Paix,  si  pleut  a  Dieu  de 
Tottroier  tielleque  feust  honorable  et  profitable  a  lour  dit  seigneur 
lige  et  son  Hoia-line,  si  lour  serroit  la  pluis  noble  et  graciouse  eide 
et  confort  que  homme  purroit  en  monde  deviser 

3  For  the  quarrels  in  the  Salisbury  Parliament  see  Higd  ix, 
32-33  Sed  dux  Lancastnae  supervemens  eas  in  multa  verborum 
faccundia  minas  intermiscens  pacificavit 

3  Higd  ix,  33. 



feeling  in  the  House  until  Lancaster,  who  since  his 
arrival  had  been  doing  his  best  to  keep  the  peace,  after 
a  long  silence,  rose  and  tried  to  pacify  the  King  and  explain 
the  Earl's  words  away. 

The  Salisbury  Parliament  marks  a  climax  in  the  relation 
of  the  Duke  to  party  politics.  In  1376  Lancaster  was 
the  best  hated  man  in  England  :  of  that  there  can  be  no 
question  But  during  the  last  eight  years  a  fundamental 
change  had  taken  place  in  party  politics  The  Duke's 
retirement  and  correct  bearing  at  the  critical  period  of 
the  accession  had  done  something  to  efface  his  un 
popularity.  Still  more  had  been  done  by  Richard's 
favourites,  for  side  by  side  with  the  waning  jealousy  of 
Lancastrian  influence  there  was  growing  up  a  hearty 
distrust  of  the  new  court  party. 

Richard  was  now  in  his  eighteenth  year,  and  was 
beginning  to  assert  himself  His  favour  was  monopolized 
by  a  small  coterie  of  friends  and  courtiers,  the  most  con 
spicuous  being  the  young  Earl  of  Nottingham,  Thomas 
Mowbray,  and  Robert  de  Vere  Earl  of  Oxford,  who  held 
the  first  place  in  his  affections.  Besides  the  court, 
three  other  parties  have  to  be  taken  into  account  in  an 
analysis  of  the  political  situation  of  the  year  1384.  On 
the  other  extreme  the  Earl  of  Arundel,  who  had  the 
support  of  the  Earl  of  Warwick  and  the  sympathy,  at 
present  somewhat  suppressed,  of  Thomas  of  Woodstock, 
the  King's  youngest  uncle,  an  able  if  violent  and  un 
scrupulous  politician.  Between  these  two  extremes,  the 
royal  favountes  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  irreconcilables 
of  the  opposition  on  the  other,  come  the  moderate  con 
stitutional  party  and  the  Lancastrian  party.  It  is  true 
that  Scrope  and  de  la  Pole,  the  leaders  of  the  moderates, 
were  also  retainers  of  the  Duke  and  always  attached  to 
his  interests,  but  these  two  parties,  though  now  working 
together  are  distinct,  and  a  dozen  years  later  draw  apart. 
The  position  of  the  Lancastnan  party  was  peculiar. 



During  the  last  few  years  of  his  father's  reign  John  of 
Gaunt  had  been  the  acknowledged  leader  of  the  court, 
but  his  nephew's  accession  completely  changed  his 
position  His  sympathies  were  throughout  with  the 
Crown,  but  he  found  himself  alienated  from  the  party 
of  "  prerogative "  by  rivals  who  had  monopolised 
Richard's  favour,  while  to  throw  himself  into  opposition 
would  be  to  court  misrepresentation  and  suspicion,  and 
perhaps  to  provoke  civil  war  Had  he  given  his  whole 
thought  to  English  politics  his  position  would  have  been 
extraordinarily  strong ;  for  as  yet  Arundel  was  his 
friend,  while  in  addition  to  his  vast  territorial  influence 
he  could  rely  on  the  ministerial  experience  of  Scrope  and 
de  la  Pole1  and  enjoy  the  moral  influence  of  their  support 
As  it  was,  the  Duke  chose  to  stand  aloof  from  internal 
politics,  detached  from  ordinary  interest  by  his  pnvate 
and  dynastic  ambitions 

That  his  power  was  still  dreaded  is  proved  by  the 
sequel,  for  the  Salisbury  Parliament,  which  had  opened 
with  an  onslaught  by  the  opposition  on  the  court,  closed 
with  an  attack  by  the  leaders  of  the  court  party  on 
Lancaster,  Vere  had  now  displaced  the  Duke  as  the 
centre  of  national  distrust.  He  must  have  known  his 
unpopularity,  but  he  also  knew  his  influence  with  the 
King,  and  determined  to  measure  it  against  the  Lan 
castrian  power.  The  defence  or  apology  for  Arundel 
coming  hard  upon  the  Duke's  doubtful  dealings  with 
the  Scots  may  have  given  him  his  cue.  At  any  rate,  he 
made  a  reckless  attempt  to  get  rid  of  his  rival 

In  fa^ce  of  the  conclusive  evidence  of  the  Register  it  is  im 
possible  to  accept  the  views  of  Bishop  Stubb  that  Michael  de  la 
Pole  was  a  "powerful  enemy  to  Lancaster  influence"  (Const 
fast  11  489)  Both  Richard  le  Scrope,  who  as  Stubbs  admits 
(ibid  )  was  "the  Duke's  fnend  and  honest  adviser,"  and  Michael 
de  la  Pole  were  moderates  and  retainers  and  friends  of  John  of 
Gaunt  This,  I  submit,  must  greatly  modify  the  accepted  view 
of  the  Duke's  position 



The  means  chosen,  if  discreditable,  were  ingenious 
and  all  but  successful.  One  day,  during  the  session  of 
Parliament,  the  King  was  in  the  chamber  of  the  Earl  of 
Oxford,  when  suddenly  a  Carmelite  Friar,  who  had 
just  been  celebrating  mass,  came  forward  with  a  story 
of  a  conspiracy  against  the  King's  life  The  friar  was  of 
Irish  birth ,  his  name  was  John  Latemar,  and  he  was 
a  Bachelor  of  Theology  His  story  was  that  a  wide 
spread  conspiracy  was  afloat,  in  which  the  citizens  of 
London  and  Coventry  and  other  cities  were  implicated, 
but  which  was  organized  and  controlled  by  the  Duke 
of  Lancaster. 

Richard,  as  usual  giving  way  to  his  first  impulse, 
ordered  his  uncle  to  be  seized  and  killed  forthwith 
That  was  doubtless  the  consummation  hoped  for  by  the 
Earl  of  Oxford,  but  happily  there  were  cooler  heads  who 
prevailed  upon  the  King  to  listen  to  reason  Sir  John 
Clanvowe,  Prior  of  the  Hospital  of  St  John  of  Jerusalem, 
an  eye-witness  from  whom  a  most  detailed  account 
is  derived,  gave  a  graphic  description  of  the  scene 
which  followed1  Richard,  nervous  and  highly  strung  at 
all  times,  now  completely  lost  self-control  He  behaved 
like  a  madman,  took  off  his  hat  and  shoes  and  threw 
them  out  of  the  window 

When  he  became  calmer  he  was  induced  to  order  the 
inf ormer  to  write  down  the  story,  giving  the  names  of  his 
witnesses  At  this  turn  of  events  the  friar's  face  fell , 
Vere  and  the  accomplices  had  reckoned  on  some  such  hasty 
act  as  Richard  had  ordered  on  the  impulse  of  the  moment, 
and  were  unprepared  for  a  calm  sifting  of  evidence 

It  happened  that  on  the  day  of  this  affaire  arrangements 
had  been  made  for  a  solemn  procession  to  be  made  to 

1  See  the  account  of  Malverne,  who  got  his  facts  from  Sir 
John  Clanvowe,  Higd    ix    33-40,   Mon.  Eve,  50-52,  Wals.  11 
1 1 2-5  ,  Chv  Angl  359  f  Ypod  Neusk,  339.     Both  Malverne  and 
the  Monk  of  Evesham  think  the  friar  demewtod  instigates ,  stimulo 
fatmtatis  adductus. 



the  cathedral,  King,  Lords  and  Commons  taking  part, 
where  mass  was  to  be  celebrated  and  intercession  made 
for  the  safety,  honour  and  welfare  of  the  Church  and 
realm.  The  clergy  had  taken  then1  places  in  the  cathe 
dral  precincts  and  every  one  was  waiting  for  the  King's 
arrival.  As  he  did  not  appear  Lancaster  went  to  find  out 
the  reason.  So  soon  as  the  Duke  entered  Vere's 
chamber,  where  the  King  was,  the  friar  shouted  :  "  There 
is  the  villain !  Seize  him  and  put  him  to  death,  or  he 
will  kill  you  in  the  end."  The  Duke's  astonishment 
can  well  be  imagined.  When  the  plot  was  explained  to 
him,  he  indignantly  denied  all  knowledge  of  it,  and 
offered  to  prove  his  innocence  by  wager  of  battle. 
Richard,  completely  swayed  by  his  emotions,  in  a  sudden 
revulsion  of  feeling,  convinced  by  his  uncle's  bearing, 
turned  his  fury  on  the  informant  and  ordered  him  to  be 
put  to  death  That  Lancaster  prevented  Failing  the 
success  of  their  manoeuvre  the  friar's  death  was  the  next 
best  thing  for  those  who  had  hatched  the  plot.  Dead 
men  tell  no  tales,  but  the  Duke's  anxiety  was  that  the 
tale  should  be  told  The  Carmelite  was  obviously  a  mere 
tool,  and  Lancaster  wanted  to  expose  his  enemy. 

The  friar  was  told  to  repeat  his  story,  and  did  so,  naming 
Lord  la  Zouche  as  a  witness.  The  witness  denied  all 
knowledge  of  the  story,  and,  like  Lancaster,  offered  to 
defend  his  honour  with  his  life.  A  second  witness  named 
by  the  friar  was  equally  ignorant  The  friar  was  then 
removed  in  the  custody  of  John  Holland,  and  the  solution 
of  the  mystery  was  as  fax  off  as  ever 

What  would  have  happened  had  the  proposed  judicial 
inquiry  been  held  is  a  matter  for  conjecture,  font  never 
was  held. 

Sir  John  Montague,  the  King's  Seneschal,  and  the 
Chamberlain,  Sir  Simon  Burley,  led  the  prisoner  away, 
intending  to  take  him  to  Salisbury  Castle.  At  the  door 
of  the  King's  lodging  they  were  met  by  Sir  John  Holland 



and  four  other  knights  Their  names  are  important  They 
were  Sir  Peter  Courtenay,  Sir  Henry  Grene,  Sir  William 
Elmham  and  Sir  Thomas  Moneux.  Sir  Peter  Courtenay, 
the  Beau  Brummel  of  Richard's  court,1  was  a  son  of  the 
Earl  of  Devon,  and,  like  the  rest  of  the  Courtenay  family, 
had  little  love  for  Lancaster,  and  had  led  the  opposition  in 
1382  to  the  Castilian  expedition  Holland  himself  was  the 
King's  half-brother  and  not  yet  a  partisan  of  the  Duke, 
Elmham  and  Moneux  were  royal  officers,  Morisux 
was  a  favourite  of  both  the  King  and  of  Lancaster ,  he 
had  married  an  illegitimate  daughter  of  the  Duke  and 
was  entirely  devoted  to  his  interests.  Thus  of  these  five 
one  was  an  enemy  of  the  Duke  ,  one  was  a  partisan,  and 
all  were  friends  of  the  King,  but  none  were  members  of 
the  faction  of  the  Earl  of  Oxford 

Acting  as  they  thought  m  the  King's  interest  they 
determined  to  get  at  the  truth.  A  mortal  feud  between 
Richard  and  his  uncle  was  clearly  not  for  the  interests  of 
King  or  nation 

Unhappily  the  means  employed  were  only  too  charac 
teristic  of  the  age  In  the  presence  of  the  King's  Chamber 
lain  and  Seneschal  they  proceeded  to  torture  the  friar 
with  a  brutality  too  foul  to  be  described,  in  order  to  make 
him  disclose  the  real  movers  in  the  plot  All  the  devices  of 
a  devilish  ingenuity  failed  The  victim  had  fortitude 
enough  to  preserve  silence  and  incriminate  no  one. 

Mutilated  and  dying,  he  was  handed  over  to  the  Warden 
of  Salisbury  Castle  When  the  King  heard  what  had 
been  done  he  wept  for  pity.  Neither  he  nor  Lancaster 
had  known  of  the  torture  :  callous  cruelty  was  not  part  of 
the  nature  of  either  The  dying  man  had  made  one  last 
request — to  be  allowed  a  secret  interview  with  Lord  la 
Zouche  The  interview  was  granted,  but  not  in  secret 
Six  of  the  King's  knights,  three  of  Lancaster's  and  three 
from  the  Commons,  were  present  But  the  mystery  was 

1  Scotichronicon,  xv.  6. 


not  cleared  up.  Asked  if  he  knew  anything  against  Lord 
la  Zouche,  the  friar  replied  that  he  knew  him  to  be  a  brave 
and  true  gentleman.  Then  words  failed  him,  and  after 
lingering  for  a  few  days,  he  died  without  making  any 
further  statement. 

\Vhatever  the  interest  in  which  Latemar  had  spoken, 
it  was  certainly  not  that  of  the  Carmelite  Order.  The 
usual  attempt  was  started  to  make  capital  out  of  the 
man's  death  Miracles  were  invented ,  it  was  said 
that  the  dead  wood  of  the  crate  on  which  his  body  had 
been  dragged  through  the  streets  put  forth  leaves,  that 
a  blind  man  had  got  back  his  sight  by  touching  it,  and  that 
a  light  had  been  seen  shining  over  the  martyr's  grave. 
But  the  Carmelites  knew  their  friend  and  refused  to 
sanction  the  fraud ;  when  a  month  later  a  Carmelite  of 
Oxford  tried  to  preach  inflammatory  sermons  on  the 
sub]ect  he  was  promptly  suppressed  by  orders  from 
the  Provincial  The  solidarity  of  the  mendicant  orders 
is  notorious,  and  it  is  a  striking  proof  of  the  Duke's  in 
fluence  with  the  Carmelites  that  they  should  thus  readily 
support  him  against  one  of  the  brotherhood 

There  can  be  little  doubt  as  to  the  real  instigator  of  the 
plot.  It  was  revealed  in  Vere's  chambers  It  could 
scarcely  have  been  opened  without  his  knowledge  and 
permission,  and  the  state  of  party  politics  makes  the  pre 
sumption  practically  certain.  The  details  had  been 
clumsily  concocted,  for  a  conspiracy  in  which  Lancaster 
was  leagued  with  the  Londoners  is  little  short  of  ludicrous, 
and  the  conspirators  ought  to  have  been  prepared 
for  either  event,  and  to  have  had  a  supply  of  plausible 
witnesses  forthcoming  at  short  notice. 

No  one  believed  the  charge,  but  while  all  agreed  in 
attempting  to  calm  the  King  and  appease  the  Duke,  the 
loudest  championship  of  his  brother's  innocence  came 
from  the  Earl  of  Buckingham.  Thomas  of  Woodstock 
was  no  violent  partizan  of  Lancaster.  The  Duke  had 



thwarted  his  cherished  scheme  of  absorbing  the  whole 
Bohun  inheritance,  by  rescuing  Mary  de  Bohun  from  the 
cloister  and  marrying  her  to  his  son  Henry  Bucking 
ham  too  was  strongly  opposed  to  the  peace  policy,  and 
jealous  of  his  brother's  predominant  influence.  Yet 
when  this  monstrous  charge  was  put  forward  he  drew  his 
sword  m  the  King's  presence  and  swore  that  he  would 
kill  any  one  who  charged  his  brother  with  treason. 

The  friar  was  dead,  but  the  effect  of  his  words  did 
not  die  with  him  The  poison  of  suspicion  worked  m 
the  King's  sensitive  nature  He  could  neither  believe 
nor  entirely  forget  The  scene  had  made  a  lasting  im 
pression  upon  him,  and  for  the  next  half-dozen  years  it 
was  always  easy  for  mischief-makers  to  work  upon  his 
fears  and  revive  the  dormant  suspicion. 

For  a  while  Vere  was  defeated,  but  he  did  not 
abandon  his  object.  The  conspiracy  scare  was 
not  allowed  to  interfere  with  Lancaster's  diplomatic 
labours.  In  the  summer  negotiations  were  resumed 
at  the  old  rendezvous  between  Calais  and  Boulogne. 
Considering  the  number  of  interests  involved,  the 
proceedings  were  singularly  ineffective,  and  the 
result  was  altogether  disproportionate  to  the  cost 1 

Not  only  England  and  France,  but  Castile,  Scotland, 
Flanders  and  Navarre  were  represented  directly  or  in 
directly,  England  by  Lancaster,  France  by  the  four  Dukes 
of  Bern,  Burgundy,  Bourbon  and  Brittany ;  Castile  by 
Pero  Lopez  de  Ayala,  now  Lord  of  Salvatierra  and  Senes 
chal  of  Guipuzcoa  (who,  however,  has  not  thought  it 
worth  while  to  record  his  doings  in  the  Cronicas),  Scot- 

1  For  the  negotiations  in  France  between  July  and  October, 
1384,  see  Higd  ix  44  ,Chr  Angl  360  ,  Wals,  11  115  Lancaster's 
commission  is  dated  Salisbury,  May  27,  1384,  (Foed,VH  428-9  and 
429-431),  safe-conduct  for  the  French  envoys,  Foed,  VII  431- 
and  433-4  The  Duke  was  named  Lieutenant  of  the  King  in 
France,  June  15,  (Foed,  VII  432)  The  truce  was  concluded  Sep 
tember  14  (Foed,  VII  438-443  ) 



land  by  her  Chancellor  and  the  Bishop  of  Glasgow, 
Navarre  and  Flanders  by  one  or  other  of  the  principal 

The  position  of  John  of  Gaunt  as  pretender  to  the 
throne  of  Castile  was  a  standing  source  of  difficulty,  and 
presented  one  of  those  problems  where  etiquette  merges 
in  policy.  It  was  obviously  impossible  for  the  French,  as 
allies  of  Don  Juan,  to  concede  him  the  style  of  King  of 
Castile  ;  "  Duke  of  Lancaster  "  is  the  only  title  of  which 
the  French  envoys  were  officially  cognisant  At  the  same 
time  for  practical  purposes  he  was  recognized  to  be  acting 
in  a  double  capacity,  not  only  as  an  envoy  of  the  King  of 
England,  but  as  a  principal.1 

The  Duke  strained  every  effort  to  attain  some  selid 
result  The  social  aspect  of  diplomatic  intercourse 
was  not  neglected ,  he  entertained  lavishly,  and  is  said 
to  have  spent  as  much  as  fifty  thousand  marcs  in  the 
short  period  of  the  meeting  3  But  his  hopes  of  a  substan 
tial  result  were  defeated ,  he  could  get  no  better  terms 
than  a  short  extension  of  the  existing  truce,  viz  till 
May  i,  1385. 

England  and  her  representative  were  equally  dis 
appointed  Another  war  budget  seemed  inevitable, 
and  the  prospects  of  a  clear  field  for  the  great  event  were 
not  favourable. 

There  was  no  disguising  the  fact  that  English  diplomacy 
had  sustained  a  reverse,  and  when  Parliament  met  in 
November  the  fact  was  faced  3  The  truce,  such  as  it 
was,  was  duly  ratified  and  published,  but,  two  days  after 
its  proclamation,  the  King,  in  a  letter  addressed  to  the 

1  Tanque  a  luy  apparent  en  chief   Foed)  VII  446 

2  Chr  Angl  360  ,  Wals  n  118  ,  Higd  ix  44 

3  Parliament  was  summoned,  by  writ  dated  Sept  2%,  to  meet 
at  Westminster  Nov  12     It  sat  from  Nov   12  to  Dec  24     Rot 
ParLw  184-202     Mandate  to  the  Sheriff,  dated  Oct   20,1384 
Foed,  VII,  444 



Archbishops,1  commented  on  the  untrustworthy  attitude 
of  the  French  and  exhorted  the  country  to  renewed 
efforts  He  had  already  received  a  substantial  vote 
from  the  Commons  for  national  defence 

Lancaster's  failure  to  get  better  terms  disappointed 
himself,  the  Commons,  and  every  one  but  his  enemies. 
To  them  it  was  welcome,  for  it  might  give  them  a  chance 
of  attack  Nothing  daunted  by  his  failure  during  the 
Salisbury  Parliament,  the  Earl  of  Oxford  again  took  up 
the  forlorn  hope  of  crushing  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  2  A 
good  hater,  he  was  a  poor  general  in  the  campaign  of 
political  intrigue.  Somehow  or  other  his  forces  never  con 
centrated  their  attack  to  time,  and  so  the  enemy  was 
always  able  to  get  away.  Above  all  he  had  little  imagina 
tion,  and  his  only  expedient  was  that  of  assassination. 
These  defects  exclude  him  from  the  front  rank  of 
political  intriguers,  but  in  persistence  he  was  second  to 

Shortly  after  the  rising  of  Parliament  and  the  Christmas 
festival,  the  King  held  tournaments  on  two  successive 
days  at  Westminster,  and  in  the  entertainments  which 
followed  his  boon  companions  were  of  course  with  him. 
Vere  was  easily  the  first  in  the  King's  favour,  but 
Thomas  Mowbray,  Earl  of  Nottingham,  and  the  Earl  of 
Salisbury,  an  older  man,  were  among  the  number  The 
favourites  now  hatched  a  further  plot  to  get  rid  of  the 
Duke  of  Lancaster 

1  Letter  to  the  Primate  dated  Oct  22,  1384     Foed,  VII  444 

2  For  the  plot  against  the  Duke's  life  see  Higd  ix  55-9 ,  Mon. 
Eve,  60,  Chr  Angl  364,   Wals   11   126,    Ypod    Neustr,  340-1 
The  plot  was  admit tedy  hatched  "  tnstructu  yuvenum  qui  cum  rege 
nutnti  fuere  "    This  description  fits  two  men  and  two  only — 
Robert  de  Vere,  Earl  of  Oxford  and  Thomas  Mowbray,  Earl  of 

There  may  be  more  than  meets  the  eye  in  the  dispute  between 
Oxford  and  one  Walter  Sibille,  which  came  up  before  the  Parlia 
ment  of  Nov  1384  Lancaster  appears  to  have  acted  as  arbiter. 
Rot.  Part.  111  184,  299 



The  legacy  of  the  murdered  Carmelite  was  still  an 
asset ;  it  was  bearing  interest  in  an  accumulating  fund 
of  suspicion.  The  plot  was  briefly  this  A  meeting  of 
the  Council  was  to  be  held  at  Waltham.  The  Duke,  as 
the  King's  principal  adviser,  would  of  course  be  sum 
moned  to  attend.  On  his  appearance  he  was  to  be 
seized  This  time  appearances  were  to  be  preserved , 
a  complaisant  bench  of  judges  had  already  prepared  a 
verdict  of  guilty  on  a  charge  of  treason  The  Duke  would 
be  executed ,  the  ghost  of  the  Lancastrian  power  would 
be  exorcised,  and  Vere  and  the  King's  favourites  would 
then  have  a  free  hand.  How  far  Richard  knew  of  the  plot 
must  remain  uncertain ;  the  details  were  probably  left 
to  the  conspirators,  but  it  is  scarcely  probable  that  the 
King  was  left  in  entire  ignorance  of  the  main  idea,  even 
assuming  that  it  was  originated  by  others 

Once  more  there  was  a  weak  link  in  the  chain  On  the 
King's  Council  there  were  men  of  different  parties ; 
moderate  men  like  Michael  de  la  Pole,  who  was  honestly 
devoted  both  to  Lancaster  and  his  nephew,  and  others 
who  were  the  Duke's  men.  The  conspiracy  leaked  out  ; 
the  Duke  was  warned,  and  instead  of  attending  the  council 
made  excuses  His  excuses  were  not  accepted.  The 
King's  command  must  be  obeyed  If  John  of  Gaunt 
throughout  his  public  life  had  acted  with  the  same  bold 
ness  as  he  did  on  this  occasion,  some  of  his  earlier  trouble 
might  have  been  avoided.  It  was  a  critical  situation, 
and  the  Duke  kept  his  head  Ten  days  after  the  plot  was 
hatched,  February  24,  Richard  was  at  Sheen.  Taking 
a  strong  escort,  the  Duke  went  to  the  royal  palace.  Reach 
ing  the  river,  he  left  most  of  his  men  to  be  ready  at  a  sum 
mons.  Another  body  was  left  to  guard  the  barge  in 
which  he  crossed,  The  rest  went  with  him  to  the  palace  and 
halted  at  the  entrance,  with  strict  orders  to  prevent  any 
one  from  going  in  or  coming  out  Accompanied  by  a 
few  friends,  the  Duke,  who  had  taken  the  precaution  of 



wearing  chain  armour  under  his  clothes,  entered,  and  in 
Richard's  chamber  spoke  his  mind 

Without  charging  the  King  with  complicity  in  the  plot 
the  Duke  denounced  the  would-be  murderers,  declared 
that  while  the  King  surrounded  himself  with  men  who 
were  plotting  against  his  life  he  would  not  come  to  the 
council,  and  concluded  with  a  warning  against  his  nephew's 
choice  of  advisers 

Whether  Richard  knew  that  he  was  helpless,  or  whether 
he  had  once  more  changed  his  mind  about  his  uncle, 
he  listened  to  this  explanation  with  astonishing  calm 
ness,  and  even  promised  to  act  on  the  advice. 

Having  simply  stated  the  course  he  intended  to 
pursue  the  Duke  left,  and  the  same  night  withdrew  to 
Tottenham  and  soon  after  to  Hertford  Castle. 

Every  one  except  Vere  and  his  friends  knew  that 
the  best  thing  for  the  country  was  an  understanding 
between  the  King  and  his  uncles,  and  that  a  serious  quar 
rel  might  mean  civil  war  Princess  Joan  saw  the  situa 
tion  as  clearly  as  most  people,  and  feared  for  the  issue 
more  than  any  The  Lancastrian  power  was  great 
enough  to  disturb  the  balance  of  public  life ,  and  had 
John  of  Gaunt  been  a  man  of  the  temper  of  Thomas  of 
Woodstock,  Richard  would  probably  have  felt  the  result 
of  playing  with  edged  tools  Happily  for  the  King,  his 
mother  still  lived,  and  her  influence  with  her  brother- 
in-law  was  considerable 

Once  more  the  Fair  Maid  of  Kent  came  forward  in  the 
guise  of  a  peacemaker  On  March  6  she  brought  Lancaster 
and  his  nephew  together  at  Westminster,  and  a  reconcili 
ation  took  place  between  the  Duke  and  his  would-be 
assassins,  at  which  he  declared  himself  reconciled  with 
the  ring-leaders,  the  Earls  of  Oxford,  Nottingham  and 

So  far  as  the  Duke's  position  went  this  abortive  con 
spiracy  had  done  little  harm  For  some  time  the  clouds 



had  been  gathering ,  now  the  storm  had  come  and  had 
cleared  the  air,  and  Lancaster's  unpopularity  had  almost 
entirely  disappeared  Vere  had  taken  the  burden 
from  his  shoulders  Even  old  enemies  like  Courtenay 
the  Primate  had  completely  transferred  their  hatred  to 
the  King's  favourites  Indeed  Courtenay  and  a  number  of 
Peers  openly  reproached  the  King  for  his  reckless  conduct, 
and  warned  him  of  the  consequences  of  countenancing 
a  reign  of  terror  hi  which  assassination  was  to  be  the  fate 
of  all  who  provoked  the  jealousy  or  dislike  of  a  small 
cotene  of  unprincipled  favourites.  The  Primate's  plain 
speaking  exposed  him  to  a  furious  outburst  on  the  part 
of  Richard,  and  only  Buckingham's  interference  pre 
vented  the  King  from  killing  him  with  his  own  hand. 
But  before  very  long  the  wisdom  of  his  advice  was 
proved  by  the  event 

After  this  quarrel  and  hollow  reconciliation  John 
of  Gaunt  withdrew  to  his  northern  kingdom,  garrisoned 
Pontefract  Castle  for  a  siege,  and  shut  himself  up  in  it. 
From  the  walls  of  that  impregnable  fortress,  his  favourite 
northern  dwelling,  upon  which  he  had  spent  lavishly  in 
building,the  Duke  could  see  the  spot  where  two  generations 
ago  his  predecessor,  Earl  Thomas  of  Lancaster,  had  been 
murdered  to  avenge  a  royal  favourite.  History  was 
repeating  itself,  telling  over  again  in  1385  the  story  of 
1322  Duke  John  was  standing  in  the  same  perilous 
position  as  that  of  Earl  Thomas,  while  Robert  de  Vere, 
like  Piers  Gaveston,  in  plotting  the  ruin  of  those  whom  he 
hated  was  in  truth  leading  his  friend  to  the  fate  of  the 
second  Edward 

But  John  of  Gaunt  was  not  a  man  of  the  temper 
of  Thomas  of  Lancaster,  or  Thomas  of  Woodstock,  or 
indeed  of  Henry  of  Bohngbroke.  He  never  attempted  to 
avenge  himself  upon  his  nephew  Strong  enough  to 
defy  open  violence,  he  was  too  loyal  to  meet  treachery 
with  treason,  and  chose  to  bow  before  the  storm  and 



to  repeat  the  policy  of    1377 — a  policy  of  self-efface 

Negotiation  with  France,  the  result  of  his  own  initiative, 
was  abandoned  to  others  , *  when  the  King's  Council  met 
in  June  at  Reading  the  great  Duke  of  Lancaster  was 
absent 2 

Perhaps  the  policy  of  retirement  which  had  overcome 
unpopularity  in  1377  might  have  disarmed  suspicion 
in  1385,  but  events  precluded  the  Duke  from  carrying  it 
into  effect  for  long  Though  Richard,  until  schooled 
by  adversity,  never  trusted  his  over-powerful  uncle,  he 
could  not  do  without  him,  as  the  events  of  the  summer 
proved.  For  in  1385  Charles  VI,  young  and  ambitious 
of  fame,  had  devised  the  boldest  scheme  of  offensive 
action  that  France  had  as  yet  attempted  This  was 
nothing  less  than  to  carry  war  into  the  enemy's  country 
by  a  combined  attack  upon  the  south  coast  and  the 
northern  border  simultaneously. 

A  powerful  fleet  assembled  at  Sluys  intended  to  trans 
port  an  army  to  invade  England.  Meanwhile  Jean  de 
Vienne  had  been  sent  to  the  North,  and  in  May  had 
landed  with  a  force  of  French  lances  at  Dunbar  and  Leith 
to  ]oin  Charles'  Scottish  allies  and  to  harry  the  northern 

At  the  last  moment  the  combination  failed,  for  the 
army  which  had  mustered  at  Sluys  was  diverted  from  its 
objective  by  affairs  in  the  Low  Countries. 

It  was  left  to  the  Government  to  deal  with  the  northern 
force  in  detail  and  to  concentrate  the  whole  strength  of  the 
kingdom  on  the  Scottish  border 3  At  last,  men  thought, 

1  Item  xxm°  die  Martii  tractatores  pacis  ex  parte  nostra 
omnevs  excepto  duce  Lancastnae  Calesiam  transierunt  qui  circa 
finem  mensis  Apnlis  redieront  absque  pacis  effectu  Higd.  ix  59 

3  Higd  ix  60 

3  For  Jean  de  Vienne  in  Scotland  and  the  invasion  August, 
1385,866  Froissart,  K  de  L  x  376-405,  Wals  11  131-2,  Chr 
Angl  364,  Kn  11  204-6,  Eulog  358;  Higd  ix  63-5. 



the  son  of  the  Black  Prince  and  grandson  of  Edward  III 
would  show  the  martial  spirit  of  his  race,  and  would  display 
against  an  alien  and  an  enemy  the  courage  which  for  a 
moment  had  cowed  the  rebels  at  Smithfield.  Summoning 
his  levies  to  meet  him  at  Newcastle  on  July  14,  Richard 
prepared  to  invade  Scotland  in  force 

Even  before  he  reached  the  rendezvous  the  King's 
troubles  began.  Near  York,  in  a  brawl  between  re- 
tamers  of  Sir  John  Holland  and  the  Earl  of  Stafford,  a 
favourite  squire  of  Holland  was  killed  As  the  murderers 
took  sanctuary  and  Richard  refused  to  let  them  be 
dragged  out,  Holland  took  the  law  into  his  own  hands 
Riding  from  Bishopthorpe  to  York  he  met  the  son  of 
the  Earl  of  Stafford  It  was  easy  to  provoke  a  quarrel, 
and  Holland,  a  man  of  great  strength  and  a  master  of  his 
weapon,  struck  Stafford  dead  with  one  blow  The 
murdered  man,  like  Mowbray  and  Vere,  was  of  the 
King's  age,  and  had  been  brought  up  with  him,  and  had 
been  one  of  the  knights  of  the  Queen's  retinue. 

Richard  received  the  news  with  extravagant  grief, 
and  though  Holland  was  his  own  half-brother,  swore  that 
he  should  be  treated  as  a  common  murderer  It  was  in 
vain  that  Princess  Joan  interceded  for  one  son  to  the 
other ;  her  prayers  were  useless,  and  wearied  with  the 
hopeless  task  of  mediating  in  the  quarrels  of  the  royal 
family,Pnncess  Joan  a  few  days  later  died  broken-hearted. 

On  July  20  the  King  reached  Durham  and  found  the 
Duke  of  Lancaster  with  his  levies,  awaiting  him  Once 
more  the  farce  of  reconciliation  was  gone  through,  and 
the  Duke  agreed  to  forget  the  quarrel  with  the  Earls  of 
Oxford,  Nottingham,  and  Salisbury  A  more  practical 
task  was  to  array  the  army  for  the  coming  invasion  1 
The  forces  which  Richard  was  leading  against  Scotland, 

1  See  the  "  Army  Order  "  issued  by  Richard  II,  the  Duke  of 
Lancaster,  the  Constable  and  Marshal,  at  Durham,  July  27, 
Brit  Mus  Cotton  Nero,  D  vi  f  91 



unlike  the  armies  which  invaded  France,  were  feudal 
levies  :  the  great  feudatories  brought  their  retainers 

The  "  ordinances  of  war  made  at  Durham  " *  form  there 
fore  a  measure  of  the  comparative  fighting  force  of  the 
nobles  of  England  in  1385. 

The  army  consisted  of  13,734  men»  l&  4*59°  men-at- 
arms  and  9,144  archers.  Of  this  total  the  Duke  of 
Lancaster  alone  contributed  almost  a  third,  for  he  led 
4,000  men,  1,000  men-at-arms  and  3,000  archers  The 
proportion  of  archers  to  men-at-arms  in  the  Duke's 
contingent  is  striking  the  old  campaigner  had  learnt  the 
lesson  of  the  French  wars.  But  still  more  striking  is  the 
disproportion  between  the  Duke's  forces  and  those  of  all 
the  rest  His  men  number  nearly  half  as  many  again 
as  the  King's  own  levies ,  more  than  three  times  as 
many  as  those  of  his  brother  the  Earl  of  Buckingham^ 
and  ]ust  five  tunes  as  many  as  those  of  the  Earl  of 
Northumberland,  the  next  most  powerful  feudatory 

It  is  also  worth  noting  that  five  hundred  men  were 
brought  by  Lord  Neville  of  Raby,  and  Neville  was,  like 
Lord  Roos  who  brought  fifty  and  Michael  de  la  Pole  who 
brought  140,  a  retainer  of  Lancaster.  As  usual,  the 
formation  of  "  three  battles "  was  adopted :  vaward, 
centre  with  two  wings,  and  rearguard,  Lancaster,  with 
the  Constable  and  Marshal  commanding  the  van,  the 
King  the  centre  and  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  the 
rear.  To  prevent  the  factions  of  politics  being  carried 
into  the  field,  friends  were  separated,  and  enemies 
thrown  together ,  Lancaster  marched  with  the  Earl 
Marshal,  and  Lord  Neville,  the  Duke's  retainer,  was 
with  the  Earl  of  Northumberland.  The  King  con 
sented  to  have  the  Earl  of  Arundel  in  the  centre,  but 
he  would  not  be  parted  from  his  favourite  Vere,  a 
fact  which  had  a  great  influence  on  the  conduct  of  the 

1  See  Appendix  u  p.  437  (Cotton  Nero,  D  vi  f  92) 



On  August  6  the  King  entered  Scottish  territory  and 
signalized  the  occasion  by  the  bestowal  of  dignities 
The  Earl  of  Cambridge  was  created  Duke  of  York,  the 
Earl  of  Buckingham  became  Duke  of  Gloucester  •  Michael 
de  la  Pole's  faithful  service  was  rewarded  by  the  Earl 
dom  of  Suffolk,  which  had  become  extinct  at  the  death 
of  William  Ufford  three  years  before 

Pursuing  their  usual  tactics  the  Scots  retreated  before 
the  invader,  and  even  the  enthusiasm  of  Jean  de  Vienne 
cooled  when  he  saw  the  imposing  army  which  Richard 
was  leading  against  his  allies.  On  the  northward  march 
therefore  the  English  found  no  enemy  to  attack ;  the 
few  stray  prisoners,  Scots  and  Frenchmen,  who  fell  into 
their  hands  were  killed  in  cold  blood,  and  the  adherence 
of  Scotland  to  the  anti-pope  was  made  the  excuse  for 
burning  the  monasteries,  which  Lancaster  had  always 
spared  The  Abbeys  of  Melrose  and  Newbattle  were 
destroyed,  and  Holyrood  itself  was  only  saved  at  the 
Duke's  entreaty. 

On  reaching  Edinburgh  the  young  commander  was 
faced  with  a  difficulty  One  body  of  the  enemy  had  fled 
to  the  north,  but  it  was  hopeless  to  attempt  a  pursuit  into 
"  sauvage  Ecosse  "  Another  body,  stiffened  by  Jean  de 
Vienne5  s  French  lances,  had  made  a  counter  move  into 
England,  marching  westwards  as  the  English  army  ad 
vanced  north,  burning  Penrith  and  attacking  Carlisle. 
Lancaster's  advice  was  to  turn  to  the  west  and  cut  off 
their  retreat 

A  council  of  war  accepted  the  proposal,  but  on  the  eve 
of  the  march  the  plan  was  suddenly  abandoned.  Robert 
de  Vere,  the  evil  genius  of  the  young  King,  was  bent  once 
more  on  making  mischief  It  was  an  easy  task  to  fan  into 
flame  the  king's  smouldering  ]ealousy,  and  the  end  was 
probably  achieved  by  some  such  words  as  Froissart1  puts 

1  Froissart  K  de  L  x  395       This  is  the  advice  of  <(  h  ccntes 
d'Asquesuffort,qui  estoit  pour  che  tamps  tous  h  coers  eth  consaulx 



into  his  mouth  :  "  Ha  !  monsigneur,  a  quoi  penses-vous, 
qui  vole's  f  aire  che  chemin  que  vostre  oncle  vous  conseillent 
a  faire  ?  Sachies,  que  se  vous  le  faites  ne  alles  aucnne- 
ment  jamais  n'en  retourneres,  ne  li  dus  de  Lancastre  ne 
tire  ne  tent  a  autre  cose  que  il  sois  rois,  et  que  vous  soyes 
mors."  Richard  was  in  command,  and  it  was  open  to 
him  to  accept  or  reject  his  uncle's  advice,  but  with  his 
usual  maladroitness  he  displayed  his  suspicion  and, 
reversing  the  policy  agreed  upon,  took  the  occasion  to 
heap  insults  on  his  most  powerful  subject.  He  cast  the 
Duke's  own  military  failures  in  his  face,  and  told  him 
that  he  was  a  traitor  and  that  he  might  march  whither 
he  would  with  his  own  men,  but  the  rest  would  return  to 

Once  more,  as  at  the  famous  quarrel  with  Percy  four 
years  before,  Lancaster,  who  had  learnt  the  lesson  of 
caution  and  self-restraint  with  years,  kept  his  head 
There  was  a  certain  dignity  in  his  reply,  that  the  King  had 
no  more  faithful  subject  than  himself  and  he  would  follow 
wherever  his  sovereign  should  lead.1  The  intervention 
of  the  Peers  brought  about  the  usual  reconciliation ; 
the  retreat  took  place,  and  by  August  20  this  short  military 
parade,  Richard's  most  pretentious  effort  in  arms,  was 
over,  and  the  army  was  back  at  Newcastle. 

At  last  John  of  Gaunt  was  nearing  the  goal  of  his 
ambitions.  The  situation  of  domestic  politics  was  not 
one  which  could  last.  Quarrels,  conspiracies  and  sham 
reconciliations  could  not  go  on  for  ever,  and  in  the 

dou  roy  "  Asquesuffort  is  of  course  Oxford  not  Suffolk,  but 
Mr  G  M  Trevelyan  ("England in  the  Age  of  Wychffe/'  p  286) 
ascribes  the  speech  to  Michael  de  la  Pole  Earl  of  Suffolk,  the 
Duke's  friend  This  mistranslation  by  Johnes  involves  an  entire 
misunderstanding  of  the  relation  between  the  party  leaders,  but 
apart  from  this  the  words  above  quoted  could  in  1385  apply  to 
no  one  but  Robert  de  Vere 

1  The  king  and  his  uncle  were  better  friends  again  about  the 
end  of  the  year,  if  borrowing  money  is  any  test  Lancaster  lent 
him  j£ioo  Rot  Pat  Nov  16,  1385 



autumn  of  1385  it  became  clear  that  there  was  no  room 
for  both  the  Earl  of  Oxford  and  the  Duke  of  Lancaster 
in  English  politics  There  was  one  obvious  solution  to 
the  difficulty,  one  which  pleased  all  parties — the  Spanish 

For  eighteen  months  the  Portuguese  envoys,  the  Grand 
Master  of  St  James  and  the  Chancellor  of  Portugal  had 
been  in  England,  working  hard  at  recruiting  and  waiting 
for  the  turn  of  the  tide  which  should  carry  Lancaster 
and  his  army  to  Portugal  Meanwhile  fortune  had 
strengthened  their  hand,  for  Joao,  Master  of  Avis  and 
Regent,  was  now  Joao  I,  King  of  Portugal  the  deliverer 
of  the  nation  had  been  chosen  by  his  people  to  succeed 
to  the  throne  of  Dom  Fernando,  and  had  abundantly 
justified  the  choice  While  Richard  II  was  quar 
relling  with  his  uncle  at  Edinburgh,  Joao  I,  with 
the  help  of  English  archers,  had  on  August  14,  won 
the  crushing  victory  of  Aljubarrota,  which  established 
Portuguese  independence  for  good  and  crippled  the 
military  power  of  Castile  for  a  generation.  Instead 
of  the  friendship  of  a  weakling  like  Fernando,  who  never 
knew  his  own  mind,  the  Portuguese  envoys  could  offer 
the  active  support  of  a  tried  soldier,  the  favourite  of  his 
people,  a  general  commanding  all  the  prestige  of  a  mo 
mentous  victory.  A  combined  attack  upon  Castile  would 
solve  the  domestic  difficulty  and  the  problem  of  the 
Lancastrian  claim  Once  more  the  Council  and  Parlia 
ment1  debated  the  Duke's  proposal  His  friends  and 
enemies  were  agreed  De  Vere,  if  he  could  not  ruin 
his  rival,  would  gladly  be  rid  of  him  :  his  jealousy  played 
into  the  enemy's  hand.  The  project  was  approved,  and 
the  Commons  voted-the  necessary  supplies  * 

1  This  Parliament  was  summoned  by  writ  dated  Sept  3,  1385, 
for  Friday  after  the  feast  of  St  Luke  It  sat  from  Friday,  Oct' 
20,  to  Thursday,  Deo  6,  Rot  Part  111  203-14. 

3  Et  sciendum  quod  dictum  viagium  dicti  Regis  Castelli  in 



From  their  lodging  at  the  Falcon  Inn,  in  Gracechorch 
Street,  the  Master  of  St.  James  and  the  Chancellor  were 
summoned  to  the  presence  of  the  King  and  Queen  of 
Castile  to  hear  the  welcome  news  that  their  mission  had 
succeeded,  and  that  a  Lancastnan  army  would  soon  be 
fighting  side  by  side  with  the  forces  of  their  master  against 
the  usurper  of  Castile  ' 

Ispanmam  concordatum  fuit  et  concessum  per  domumm  regem, 
prelates,  proceres  magnates  et  comnmnitates  predictes  in  pleno 
Parliament©  Rot  Pat  in  2046 

For  the  Spanish  expedition,  the  safe  custody  of  the  sea  and 
the  Scottish  border  and  for  the  relief  of  Ghent  the  Commons  voted 
a  tenth  and  fifteenth  and  half  a  tenth  and  fifteenth,  the  first  to  be 
paid  by  Feb  2, 1 386,  and  the  second  by  June  24  following  Rot 
Parl  in  204  a 



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:>  X  (1252-84)  King  of  the  Romans 

Fernando  de  la  Cerda  =  Blanche,  dai 
(elder  son,  d  1275)  |  IX  of  Franc. 

)  Alfonso  de  la  Cerda  Fernando 
("the  disinherited  ")  Cerda 

=  Leonor  de  Guzman  Don  Juan  Manuel,: 
son  of  !Don  Manuel 
and  grandson  of 
Fernando  III 

lanche  of  Bourbon  (eight  other  Enrique  II  (13 
,ana  de  Castro  sons  and  a 

3abel=  Edmund  of  Juan  I  (  1  379-90  )=(i)  Leonor, 
of  Langley  b  1358  Pedro  c 
(2)  Beatrix 
of  Porti 


=Ennque  III  (1390-1406)  Fernando,  b  1380 
b  1378,  d  1406 

4),  b.  1405  Maria  Catalma 

Isabel  (  1  474-  1  504)  =  Ferdinand  of  Aragoa 
(The  Spanish  House  of  Hapsburg) 

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Chapter  XIII 


IN  the  Chromca  d'El  Rei  D.  Joao  I  there  is  a  striking 
scene,  depicting  the  passionate  longing  of  the  exiled 
daughter  of  Don  Pedro  to  recover  her  fatherland  and 
her  father's  throne.  The  time  is  the  autumn  of  1385, 
when  England  was  ringing  with  the  news  of  the  great 
victory  of  Aljubarrota  ,  the  place,  the  Duke's  chamber  ; 
and  the  actors  are  Lancaster  himself,  his  consort,  and  the 
Portuguese  ambassadors.  The  Master  of  St  James  has 
just  been  urging  the  Duke  to  attack  Castile  in  the  hour 
of  weakness,  and  to  accept  the  proposed  alliance  of  the 
victorious  Portuguese  King,  His  arguments  are  rein 
forced  by  the  prayers  of  Constance  of  Castile 

Leading  her  daughter  Katherme  by  the  hand  and 
falling  upon  her  knees  before  her  husband,  the  Duchess 
entreats  him  with  tears  to  champion  her  nght  and  avenge 
the  murder  of  her  father.1 

Tears  and  entreaties  indeed  were  scarcely  necessary, 
and  Lancaster's  ambition  needed  no  spur.  For  sixteen 
years  "  Monseigneur  d'Espaigne  "  had  claimed  and  used 
the  royal  style  Edinburgh,  Pans,  Bruges  and  Lisbon 
knew  as  well  as  Westmmster  the  maker  of  treaties  and 
alliances,  "  Roy  de  Castell  et  de  Leon,  Due  de  Lan- 
castre  "  At  last,  it  seemed,  his  infant  fortune  had  come 
to  years  ;  the  day-dream  was  to  become  a  waking  reality, 
and  he  was  to  cease  building  "  castles  in  Spain  "  to  begin 
the  more  practical  task  of  capturing  them. 

1  Fernao  Lopes,  Chromca  de  El  Rei  D  Joao  I,  v.  83-4 



The  Duke  was  now  in  his  forty-sixth  year,  well  past 
middle  age  as  the  fourteenth  century  understood  it  His 
career  had  not  been  one  of  uninterrupted  success  ,  yet 
neither  age  nor  experience  had  blunted  the  edge  of  his 
ambition  In  1386  his  hopes  were  higher  than  ever. 
That  before  long  the  throne  of  Castile  would  be  won, 
either  by  arms  or  by  treaty,  he  for  one  had  little  doubt. 
He  knew  the  demoralization  of  the  enemy ;  the  antici 
pation  (abundantly  justified  by  the  event)  that  his  adver 
sary  would  hasten  to  agree  with  him  by  the  way,  can  be 
read  between  the  lines  of  his  contract  with  Richard  II, 
made  on  the  eve  of  the  enterprise.  It  is  assumed  as  a 
matter  of  course  that  Juan  I  will  cower  at  the  advance 
of  the  rightful  king  Richard's  only  solicitude  is  to 
prevent  the  interests  of  England  being  sacrificed  by  the 
inevitable  capitulation  i 

In  treating  as  an  independent  sovereign  with  his 
nephew  "  of  France  and  England,"  John  of  Gaunt  pro 
mises  to  Richard  the  friendship  of  the  kingdom  yet  to  be 
won,  and  binds  together  Castile  and  England  in  an  in 
dissoluble  alliance  by  the  concord  of  Plantaganet  kings 
as  yet  unborn.2 

1  John  of  Gaunt  undertakes  (i)  that  he  will  make  no  agreement 
with  his  adversary  of  Castile  until  Richard  II  is  satisfied  in 
respect  of  200,000  doubles  d'or,  representing  the  damage  done 
to  English  shipping  by  Castile  3  (n)  that  any  alliance  he  may  make 
with  Juan  I  shall  be  without  prejudice  to  his  engagements  to 
Richard ,  and  (111)  that  he  will  repay  as  soon  as  possible,  and  with 
in  three  years  at  the  outside,  the  20,000  marcs  advanced  to  him 
by  Richard 

(Dated  Feb  7,  1386,  and  cancelled  May  26, 1390  )    Foed  VII, 


2  The  alliance  between  John,  King  of  Castile,  Leon,  Toledo, 
Galicia,   Seville,  Cordova,  Murcia,  Jaen,  Algarve  and  Algeciras, 
Duke  of  Lancaster  and  Lord  of  Molina  on  the  one  part,  and 
Richard  II,  King  of  France  and  England  on  the  other,  was  con 
cluded  by  then-  plenipotentiaries  (Sir  John  Marrmon  with  William 
Ashton,  the  Duke's  Chancellor,  and  Sir  Richard  Atterbury  with 
Sir  John  Clanvowe)  at  Westminster,  April  28,  1386     (Powers  for 
the  Duke's  proctors  are  dated  Kingston  Lacy,  April  8  )     Lan- 



The  Portuguese  alliance,  the  Duke's  own  creation,  was 
conceived  on  a  grand  scale.  It  bound  England  and 
Portugal  together  in  a  league  offensive  and  defensive 
against  all  Europe,  saving  only  Pope,  Emperor,  and  the 
legitimate  King  of  Castile.1 

Was  it  only  anxiety  to  be  rid  of  the  nightmare  of  Lan 
castrian  domination,  that  shadow  ever  lying  across  the 
throne,  that  worked  in  the  mind  of  the  young  king  ? 
Or  was  Richard  II  also,  impulsive,  impressionable,  easily 
led  by  a  stronger  hand,  deceived  by  the  delusive  promise 
of  his  uncle's  fancies  •*  Perhaps  he  was  for  a  moment 
convinced,  and  came  to  see  John  of  Gaunt,  as  the  Duke  saw 
himself,  the  creator  of  a  great  Peninsular  alliance,  which 
should  raise  again  the  fallen  barrier  of  the  Pyrenees, 
restore  to  England  the  command  of  the  seas,  and  hem 
France  in  north  and  south  between  confederate  king 

Whatever  his  motives,  it  is  impossible  to  doubt  the 
sincerity  of  Richard's  support,  for  he  lent  money  to  his 
uncle  for  the  purpose  2  Financial  help  came  too  from 

caster  confirmed  the  alliance  at  Plympton,  June  20  (Foed,  VII* 
510-15,  and  525-26)  Richard  II  on  June  i  (Rot  Franc  li  152 
i  and  2  ) 

1  The  offensive  and  defensive  alliance  of  Richard  II  and  Jo§o  I 
(against  all  powers  save  Pope,  Emperor,  and  John  of  Gaunt)  was 
concluded  by  Fernando,  Master  of   St   James  with  Louren90, 
Chancellor  of  Portugal,  and  Sir  Richard  Atterbury  and  Sir  John 
Clanvowe,  May  9  (Windsor),  and  May  17  (Westminster),  1386 
The  Portuguese  envoys'  powers  are  dated  April  15,  1385      Foed, 
VII    518-24,  Fernao  Lopes,  v.   87-89     It  was  confirmed  by 
Joao  I  at  Coimbra,  August  12,  1387      Foed,  VII    561,  562    Cf 
Safe  conduct  for  two  ambassadors    of   the  King  of  Portugal, 
the  Bishop  of  Elvas,  and  Gonsalvo  Gomes  da  Silva,  dated  West 
minster,  April  3,  1386     Foed,  VII  508-9 

2  The  King  commands  that  the  sum  of  1,000  marcs  advanced 
to  his  uncle  by  the  Treasurer  of  the  Royal  Chamber  shall  be  re 
funded  from  the  first  instalment  of   the  Parliamentary  grant 
Rot  Pat   May  14,  1386     Richard  had  to  borrow  from  Lombard 
merchants  for  the  purpose  ,  see  bond  dated  May  22, 1386      Rot 



another  source  besides  the  coffers  of  the  Lombard  bankers 
with  whom  the  King  was  pledging  his  credit 

The  Castilian  quarrel  can  be  viewed  from  various 
standpoints  It  is  a  piece  in  the  puzzle  of  dynastic 
history.  It  is  a  side  current  in  the  stream  of  the  Hundred 
Years  War.  It  is  also  a  scene  in  the  drama  of  the  Great 
Schism,  an  interlude  in  the  struggle  of  the  rival  popes. 

Castile  was  for  Clement,1  Portugal  for  Urban,  and  John 
of  Gaunt  was  a  persona  grattssima  at  the  court  of  Urban 
VI  It  was  three  years  since  the  Pope  had  conferred  on 
the  patron  of  Wychffe  the  title  of  "  Standard  Bearer  of 
the  Cross  for  the  Pope  and  the  Roman  Church,"  naming 
him  Captain  and  Standard  Bearer  against  Juan  of  Castile.3 
Just  at  the  moment  when  encouragement  was  most 
needed,  when  the  Earl  of  Cambridge  had  made  a  fool  of 
himself  in  Portugal  and  Dom  Fernando  had  gone  over 
to  the  enemy,  came  the  apostolic  exhortation  to  this 
faithful  son  of  the  Church  to  "  merit  the  rewards  to  be 
gained  by  diligently  and  faithfully  carrying  out  the  office 
entrusted  to  him"  At  the  same  time  plenary  pardon 
had  been  granted  to  all  who,  fortified  by  the  sign  of  the 
Cross,  should  embark  in  Lancaster's  company  on  the 
intended  expedition,  and  die  truly  penitent  and  con 
fessed,3  while  at  the  Duke's  petition  his  army  received 
the  promise  of  all  those  privileges  and  indulgences  which 
the  Crusaders  had  received  by  the  constitution  of  Inno 
cent  III  published  in  the  Fourth  General  Lateran  Council  * 
For  three  years  these  powers  had  lain  dormant,  Now 

1  Enrique  II  was  neutral,  but  Juan  I  took  the  schism  seriously, 
and  after  some  hesitation  declared  for  Clement  VII  in  1381 
(Ayala,  11  130.,  140-1  ,   142-150  )     This  was  the  result  of  French 

a  Dated  Rome,  12  Kal  Apr  (5  Urban  VI),  1383  Papal  Letters, 
iv.  264 

3  Dated  Rome,  12  Kal.  Apr  (5  Urban  VI),  1383     Papal  Letters, 
iv  265. 

4  April  6  (5  Urban  VI),  1383      Papal  Letters,  iv.  265 



they  were  called  out  of  abeyance  and  enlarged.  Four 
Bulls  were  issued  in  Lancaster's  favour x  Choosing  as 
his  agents  the  Bishop  of  Hereford  (the  prelate  who  had 
urged  the  Spanish  expedition  on  Parliament  in  1382), 
the  Bishops  of  Llandaff  and  Dax,  and  Walter  Dysse,  the 
Duke's  confessor,  the  Pope  empowered  them  to  restore 
all  churches  and  cemeteries,  however  polluted,  in  Eng 
land  and  Spain  ;  to  create  fifty  Papal  chaplains  from 
persons  of  good  repute,  regular  or  secular,  and  fifty 
notaries  public,  even  married  clerks  being  eligible  ,  and 
fourthly  to  remove  the  barrier  of  illegitimate  birth  for 
persons  wishing  to  be  ordained  to  the  priesthood. 

The  ecclesiastical  campaign  began  on  February  18, 
when  the  standard  of  the  Cross  was  raised  in  St.  Paul's, 
and  the  first  sermon  was  preached  in  favour  of  the  Cru 
sade  2  The  secular  arm  seconded  the  efforts  of  the 
Church,  and  in  every  county  of  England  the  sheriffs,  by 
royal  mandate,8  published  the  Bull  promising  absolution 
to  all  who  directly  or  indirectly  should  further  the  ex 
pedition  of  the  Duke  for  the  succour,  help  and  comfort 
of  the  Holy  Mother  Church  against  the  schismatic  usurper 
of  Castile 

Wychffe  must  surely  have  turned  in  his  grave  when 
the  Bishops  of  Llandaff  and  Hereford  went  on  progress 
through  England,  selling  Papal  indulgences  to  finance  a 
dynastic  quarrel.  But  though  Wychffe  was  dead  there 
were  many  who  from  various  motives  were  ready  to 
raise  a  protest  against  the  Crusade  Unhappily  for 
Lancaster,  the  novelty  of  the  thing  had  been  spoilt  by 
the  Bishop  of  Norwich  three  years  before,  but  there  was 
still  a  brisk  market  for  the  papal  wares  As  a  papal 

1  Fast,   Z\z    508      See  Baromus,  Annales  Ecclestashci  (Ed. 
Theiner),  vol  xxii  p  466 

2  Higd  ix  8 1-2 

3  Mandate  to  the  sheriffs  to  cause  the  Bull  to  be  published, 
dated  April  u,  1386     Fo&A,  VII  507-8 




chaplaincy  removed  its  possessor  from  the  control  of  his 
ecclesiastical  superiors,  regulars  and  seculars,  black  monks 
and  white,  canons,  rectors,  vicars  and  friars  rushed  for 
the  bait 

The  Abbot  of  St.  Albans,  always  at  his  best  in  dis 
ciplinary  matters,  took  strong  measures  to  repress  the 
movement  among  his  brethren  Every  Benedictine  who 
bought  a  papal  chaplaincy  (except  one  old  man  whose 
years  and  past  service  saved  him)  was  turned  out  of  his 
house  *  But  on  other  grounds  than  those  of  discipline 
the  Crusade  encountered  vigorous  opposition  Sermons 
were  preached  against  it,  and  it  became  necessary  for 
the  secular  power  to  intervene.2  The  strongest  support, 
however,  came  from  the  fnars.  Once  more  Lancaster 
reaped  a  solid  benefit  from  his  alliance  with  the  Carmel 
ites.  Dysse  the  Carmelite  was  one  of  the  Pope's  com 
missioners  The  Duke  was  the  Carmelites'  friend.  That 
was  enough  *  the  whole  order  made  his  quarrel  their  own. 
The  sort  of  argument  advanced  in  support  of  this  last 
sham  crusade  may  be  gathered  from  a  fragment  still  ex 
tant  of  a  sermon,  doubtless  one  of  many,  preached  by  a 
Carmelite  friar  at  the  time.3  The  faithful  are  invited  to 
ponder  on  the  wickedness  of  that  monster  Robert  of 
Geneva,  calling  himself  Clement  VII,  who  is  indeed  no 
true  shepherd,  but  a  thief,  a  robber,  a  wolf  who  devours 
the  lambs  of  the  Church,  a  deceiver  who  has  led  astray 
many,  including  Juan,  calling  himself  King  of  Castile. 
To  bring  back  this  emng  sheep  to  the  true  fold,  the  Pope 
has  called  not  once,  but  many  times,  at  first  softly,  then 
angrily,  but  always  in  vain.  At  length  he  has  com 
missioned  the  true  King  of  Castile  to  drive  him  back  by 
force  It  is  vain  to  say,  as  some  do,  that  the  Spaniards 

1  Gest.  Abb  Sc  Alban,  u  417. 

2  Orders  to  three  sergeants-at-arms  to  arrest  John  Elys,  of 
Stowmarket,  Chaplain,  who  had  preached  against  the  Spanish 
Crusade,  dated  February  12, 1387     Rot  Pat 

3  Fasc  Ziz  506-11 



are  as  good  Christians  as  ourselves,  and  that  it  is  a  sin  to 
shed  their  blood.  Not  so  They  are  guilty  of  the  sin 
of  schism,  a  sui  against  the  whole  body  of  the  Church. 
Faith  without  works  is  vain  ,  the  faithful  will  show  then- 
devotion  by  supporting  the  Pope  and  his  minister,  John 
of  Gaunt.  Equally  vain  is  it  to  argue  that  the  sale  of 
indulgences  amounts  to  simony.  Distinguish  between 
obtaining  things  for  money  and  through  money.  These 
indulgences  are  obtained  through  money,  it  is  true,  for 
money  is  necessary  to  pay  for  the  soldiers  who  are  to 
fight  in  the  good  cause  But  they  are  bestowed  not  for 
money  but  for  the  spiritual  ends  of  restoring  Spam  to  the 
true  fold,  and  promoting  the  unity  of  the  Catholic  Church. 
Such  contnbutions  are  therefore  an  acceptable  oblation 
"  Date  eleemosynam  et  omma  munda  vobis  " — an  elastic,  if 
not  convincing  formula,  and  one  which  the  fnars  knewwelL 

The  results  were  eminently  satisfactory,  for  the  con 
tributions  of  the  faithful  were  considerable. 

On  March  25,  the  date  fixed  for  the  ceremony  of  fare 
well,  King  John  and  Queen  Constance,  after  receiving 
crowns  of  gold  from  Richard  II,  took  leave  of  the  court 
and  began  their  royal  progress  through  the  southern 
counties  to  Plymouth,  the  port  of  embarkation *  Lan 
caster  had  to  wait  for  more  than  two  months  in  the 
west  country  while  the  ships  and  vessels  impressed  for 
the  expedition  assembled.2  It  is  difficult,  as  usual,  to 

1  Kn  11  207      Higd  ix  82 

2  Mandate  to  impress  20  ships  of  70  casks  burden  and  up 
wards  within  the  Nor  them  Command,  to  be  at  Plymouth  by  Palm 
Sunday,  dated  March  15,1386       Foed,  VII    501-2.      Cf  (ibid 
504)  orders  to  impress  manners  for  the  Mane  of  London t  the 
Margaret  of  London,   and    the    Maudelyn    of    London,    dated 
March  26     Orders  to  impress  24  "mineatores  "  from  the  Forest 
of  Dean  and  carpenters  from  the  western  counties,  dated  March 
24    Foed,  VII  503-4,  Orders  to  hasten  the  ships  impressed,  dated 
April  20  and  23      Foedy  VII  509     One  roll  gives  the  names  of 
57  ships,  which  with  20  more  from  the  Northern  Command  gave 
a  total  tonnage  of  nearly  10,000  dol.    (Exchequer  Accts.  Q  R 
Bundle  42,  No   18,  Army) 



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speak  with  anything  like  certainty  of  the  numbers  of  the 
army  Knighton's  guess,  twenty  thousand  men,  must  be 
a  wild  exaggeration.  On  the  other  hand,  the  Duke  cer 
tainly  had  more  than  the  1,500  men-at-arms  and  1,500 
archers  who,  according  to  Ayala,  followed  him  to  Castile  1 

He  had  led  4,000  men-at-arms  and  archers  in  the  Scottish 
promenade,  and  with  the  lesson  of  Cambridge's  expe 
dition  in  his  mind,  and  the  warning  of  Parliament,  he 
would  certainly  raise  more  for  the  object  for  which  he 
was  straining  every  nerve  Probably  the  Portuguese 
chronicles  are  near  the  mark  when  they  put  the  numbers 
at  2,000  lances  and  3,000  archers,  or  some  10,000  men 
in  all  At  any  rate  the  force  was  large  enough  to  make 
transport  a  matter  of  some  difficulty,  and  it  appears  that 
the  greater  part  of  the  English  marine  was  engaged  m 
the  Duke's  service.3  This,  in  view  of  the  attitude  of  the 
French,  constituted  a  grave  danger  One  of  the  engage 
ments  entered  into  by  the  Portuguese  envoys  was  to 
place  a  naval  force  at  the  disposal  of  England  in  the 
autumn,3  but  in  addition  to  this  Dom  Joao  volunteered 
naval  assistance  to  his  ally/  On  June  30  his  admiral, 
Affonso  Furtado,  reached  Plymouth  with  a  flotilla  of 
transports  for  Lancaster's  use,  ten  fine  galleys,  and  half 
a  dozen  smaller  ships. 

At  length  all  preparations  were  complete  Lancaster 
and  his  knights  had  given  their  evidence  at  Plymouth  in 

1  Kn  11  207  ,  Ayala,  u  249  ,  Fernao  Lopes,  v,  91  Many 
names  of  the  knights  and  esquires  of  the  Duke's  retinue 
appear  in  the  lists  of  those  who  obtained  letters  of  protection 
(dated  January  7  and  March  6,  1386  ,  Foed,  VII.  490-1,  and 
499-501),  and  letters  of  attorney  (dated  April  12,  ibid  508} 

*  See  commission  to  Lancaster  to  provide  for  the  safe  return 
of  the  fleet,  and  appointment  of  two  sergeants-at-anns  to  bring 
it  home,  dated  June  i,  1386      Foed,  VII  524-5 

3  Fo^,VII  521-3 

*  Kn   u.  207   Fernao  Lopes,  v    39,  40  ;  86,  and  90.    According 
to  Lopes  the  whole  flotilla  numbered  130  sail,  v  91 



the  cause  cel&bre  Scrope  v.  Grosvenor  ;  *  the  great  offi 
cers  of  the  army  were  named 

The  Constable  was  Sir  John  Holland  After  a  few 
months'  disgrace  Holland  had  emerged  from  sanctuary 
at  Beverley  to  be  restored  to  favour  and  to  give  another 
proof  of  the  violence  of  his  passions  Impetuous  alike  in 
love  and  hate,  Holland,  after  a  rough  wooing,  had  won  the 
heart  of  Ehzabeth  of  Lancaster.  Elizabeth  had  been 
betrothed  in  childhood  to  the  Earl  of  Pembroke ;  this 
was  annulled,  and  Holland,  who  had  forestalled  a  legal 
union,  saved  appearances  by  a  hasty  marriage  2 

Sir  Thomas  Moneux  husband  of  another  daughter  of 
the  Duke,  the  mysterious  Lady  Blanche,  with  Sir  Richard 
Burley,  acted  as  Marshal  Sir  Thomas  Percy  was  Ad 
miral.  Where  there  was  fighting  to  be  had,  the  Percies 
were  always  to  the  fore,-  and  the  old  quarrel  was  for 
gotten,  for  besides  his  brother  the  Admiral,  the  Earl  of 
Northumberland  had  a  son,  Sir  Thomas  Percy  the 
younger,  in  the  Duke's  army  The  Courtenay  feud 
too  was  now  over  also,  for  on  the  eve  of  his  departure 
Lancaster,  protesting  his  "  entire  affection "  and  con 
fidence  in  the  Earl  of  Devonshire,  names  him  lieutenant 
of  his  fees  and  franchises  in  Devonshire  3 

All  the  Duke's  children  accompanied  the  expedition 
save  one  :  the  omission  is  significant  Henry,  Earl  of 
Derby,  was  left  to  watch  over  his  father's  interests,  and 
to  act  as  Lieutenant  of  the  County  Palatine  * — a  very 
necessary  precaution — but  the  Duke  took  with  him  his 
two  unmarried  daughters,  Phihppa  of  Lancaster,  and 
Katharine  her  half-sister,  as  well  as  Constance  and 

On  Sunday,  July  7,  a  fair  wind  sprang  up     The  Earl 

1  Scrope-Grosvenor,i  49 

2  Higd  ix  96-7.    See  Appendix,  viii  p  458 

3  Brit.  Mus  Ad  Ch  13910 

*  This  appears  from  the  Patent  Rolls  of  the  Palatinate 







of  Derby  said  his  last  farewells  and  returned  to  the  shore, 
and  m  the  afternoon  the  fleet  hoisted  sail 1 

With  an  object  as  definite  as  the  invasion  of  Castile, 
and  a  kingdom  for  the  prize,  it  might  have  been  thought 
that  Lancaster  would  steer  a  straight  course  for  the  shores 
of  Spain  Such  was  not  the  spirit  of  adventure.  There 
is  a  certain  knight-errantry  in  the  Duke's  adventures 
which  touches  them  with  romance,  and  lends  to  them  an 
interest  which  perhaps  might  not  be  felt  in  the  fortunes  of 
a  more  practical  character  As  the  fleet  doubled  Cape 
Ushant  news  came  that  the  Duke  of  Brittany,  to  prove 
his  new-born  loyalty  to  France,  was  beleaguering  the 
English  garrison  of  Brest 2  The  besieged  were  hard 
pressed,  and  in  particular  they  were  harassed  by  two 
forts,  one  nicknamed  the  "  Dovehouse,"  built  by  the 
besiegers  uncomfortably  near  the  walls  of  the  town 
John  of  Gaunt  landed  his  men,  and  allowed  Lord  Fitz- 
walter  to  storm  the  forts.  The  effort  cost  some  valuable 
lives,  but  it  should  never  be  said  that  a  Duke  of  Lan 
caster  left  a  besieged  English  garrison  to  its  fate. 

Putting  to  sea  again,  the  Duke  and  his  council  debated 
the  question  where  the  landing  should  be  effected.  The 
Portuguese  admiral  offered  his  master's  ports,  but  Lan 
caster,  sensible  of  the  moral  effect  of  landing  on  Castihan 
soil,  ordered  his  pilots  to  make  for  the  coast  of  Galicia 3 

On  July  25  the  fleet  dropped  anchor  in  the  harbour  of 

1  Kn  u  207 

2  For  the  relief  of  Brest  see  Kmghton's  inspired  account,  u 
208-10,   Froissart,  K.  de  L    xi   331-7;  Rehgieux  de  St  Denys, 
i    433-49,  whose  narrative  is  not  very  helpful ,   Wals  11   143 , 
Chr  Angl  368-9  ,  Fernao  Lopes,  v.  90-1 

3  For  what  follows  the  authorities  of  the  first  value  are  Ayala 
and  Fernao  Lopes     Duarte  Nunes  do  Liam,  in  the  Cromcas  del 
Rey  Dom  Jodo  I,  adds  nothing  of  importance  to  the  narrative  of 
Lopes  The  events  of  1 3  86-7  are  treated  with  the  greatest  brevity  in 
the  Chromcle  of  the  Constable  (Chromca  do  Condestabre  de  Portugal 
Dom  Nunalvarez  Pereyra,  Lisbon,  1623,  pp  51,  52) 


Coruna ;  it  was  a  happy  omen  that  the  King  of  Castile 
should  first  set  foot  in  his  kingdom  on  the  day  of  St,  James, 
the  patron  saint  of  Spain  and  the  eponymous  hero  of  the 
Gahcian  capital,  and  the  capture  of  a  squadron  of 
Don  Juan's  ships  at  Betanzos  on  the  same  day  seemed  to 
confirm  this  auguiy  of  success  * 

The  captain  of  Coruna,  Ferrand  Perez  de  Andrade, 
not  being  strong  enough  to  offer  resistance,  and  not 
knowing  which  way  things  would  go,  elected  to  tem 
porize.  Lancaster  accepted  his  professions  without 
putting  them  to  the  test,  and  pushed  on  without  staying 
to  occupy  the  town,  to  the  capital  of  Gahcia,  Saint  James 
of  Compostella  * 

In  the  troubled  days  of  1366  the  Gallegos  had  been  the 
last  to  abandon  the  cause  of  Don  Pedro,  and  even  now 
the  sentiment  of  loyalty  to  his  line  lingered  among  the 
hidalgos  of  the  Northern  Province  Events  justified 
Lancaster's  choice  of  the  port  of  disembarkation,  for 
Santiago  opened  her  gates  at  the  first  summons  ,  a  pro 
cession  of  clergy  met  the  Duke  and  conducted  him  to  the 
shrine  of  St  James,  and  nobles  and  gentlemen  fiom 
Gahcia  and  Castile  came  in  to  kiss  the  hand  of  Queen 
Constance  and  to  do  homage  to  the  rightful  king  3  Lan 
caster's  first  act  after  entering  the  city  was  to  turn  out 
the  Clementist  archbishop,  Don  Juan  Garcia  Manrique,4 
and  to  put  in  his  place  an  adherent  of  the  canonical  Pope. 
Then  the  "  Captain  and  Standard  Bearer  of  the  Cross  " 
forgot  all  about  the  Crusade,  and  began  business  by  an 
nouncing  his  arrival  to  the  Kings  of  Portugal  and  Castile. 
Sealed  with  the  royal  arms  of  Castile,  and  bearing  the 

1  Fernao  Lopes,  v  91-2,  Ayala,  li   249 ,  Froissart,  K.  de  L. 
xi  338-44 

2  Lopes,  v.  108-9  >  Ayala  (u  249)  differs ,  Froissart,  K  de  L. 
xi  344-9 

3  Ayala,  u  250 

*  The  Duke  killed  two  birds  with  one  stone,  for  the  archbishop 
was  also  Don  Juan's  Chancellor  Ayala,  u  635, 



proud  signature  Nos  EL  REY,  his  letters  conveyed  a 
message  of  friendship  to  the  first  and  a  challenge  to  the 

Don  Juan  had  for  long  been  familiar  with  his  rival's 
plans ;  the  challenge  only  confirmed  the  fears  which 
had  haunted  him  from  the  day  of  his  accession.  After 
Aljubarrota  he  had  made  an  ab]ect  appeal  to  France 
for  help,8  to  which  Charles  VI  had  replied  in  a  sympathetic 
letter  containing  commonplaces  on  providence  and  the 
mutability  of  fortune,  accompanied  by  the  more  welcome 
promise  of  men  and  money.  Less  practically  useful,  the 
Court  of  Avignon  was  equally  sympathetic.  To  con 
sole  Don  Juan  in  the  hour  of  defeat  Clement  had  sent 
him  a  homily  on  the  text  "  Whom  God  loveth  He  chas- 
teneth,"  and  with  graceful  allusions  to  the  sufferings  of 
Saul  and  Jonathan  at  the  hand  of  the  Philistines,  had 
entreated  him  not  to  despair  3 

In  spite  of  the  promises  of  the  first  and  the  consolation 
of  the  second  Juan  did  despair.  Only  the  political  and 
military  condition  of  Castile  can  explain  Lancaster's 
confidence,  and  the  large  measure  of  success  which  in 
the  end  attended  his  rash  adventure. 

At  Al]ubarrota  the  Castilian  army  had  been  ruined ; 
all  Castile  was  in  mourning,  and  long  and  kingdom  were 
utterly  demoralized  Nothing  is  more  significant  of  the 
utter  collapse  of  the  power  which  a  generation  earlier  had 
almost  driven  the  Moors  out  of  the  Peninsula  than  the 
eagerness  of  the  de  facto  king  to  make  terms  with  the 

1  Lopes,  v  107-8  ,  93  ,  Ayala,  li  250,  253 

3  Rekg  St  Denys,  i  438,  etc  ,  Ayala,  11  243-5  j  Froissart, 
K  de  L  xi  375-7 

3  Ayala,  11  246-7 ,  Chr  Reg.  Franc  in  85  GuiUaume  de 
Naillac  and  Gaucher  de  Passao  undertook  for  100,000  francs  to 
lead  2,000  men-at-arms  to  the  help  of  Juan  (agreement  dated 
Pans,  Feb  5,  1387,  Pieces  Intdites,  i  77,  See  also  Bnt  Mus. 
Add  Ch.  3358,  6759,  i3&>-62J 



pretender  Before  Lancaster  had  been  a  month  in 
Gahcia  an  embassy  arrived  to  negotiate  * 

Don  Juan  Serrano,  Prior  of  Guadelupe  and  Chancellor 
of  the  Privy  Seal,  Diego  Lopez  de  Medrano,  Knight,  and 
Alvar  Martinez  de  Villareal,  Doctor  of  Laws,  carried  the 
King's  reply  to  his  adversary's  challenge  They  found 
the  Duke  at  Orense  in  August,  and  there,  m  the  presence 
of  his  council,  each  in  turn  delivered  his  message 

The  Prior,  in  the  most  solemn  manner,  protested  that 
the  true  right  of  succession  lay  with  his  master,  and  con 
jured  Lancaster  by  God  and  Saint  James  not  to  invade 
the  kingdcm  in  an  unrighteous  cause  To  the  Duke's 
challenge  of  battle  the  Knight  replied  with  a  counter 
challenge  in  the  usual  form  In  order  to  avoid  the 
shedding  of  Christian  blood  his  master  was  ready  to  meet 
John  of  Gaunt  man  to  man,  ten  against  ten,  or  a  hundred 
against  a  hundred — a  conventional  reply  which  of  course 
meant  nothing.  The  man  of  law  then  argued  the  ques 
tion  of  hereditary  right  at  length.  It  is  noticeable  that 
the  legality  of  Don  Pedro's  marriage  with  Maria  de 
Padilla  was  never  called  in  question  The  son  of  Enrique 
the  Bastard  could  scarcely  stand  upon  the  punctilio  of 
legitimate  birth.  Neither  was  it  convenient  to  urge  the 
objection  which  in  later  years  decided  that  ardent  Lan 
castrian  jurist,  Sir  John  Fortescue,  to  condemn  the 
Lancastrian  claim , 2  it  was  scarcely  open  to  Juan  of 
Castile,  who  laid  claim  to  Portugal  in  the  right  of  his 
wife  Beatrix,  to  condemn  the  transmission  of  hereditary 
right  through  females  The  lawyer  took  a  very  different 
line  and  tried  to  establish  the  position  of  Don  Juan  as  the 
heir,  through  his  mother  Juana,  of  the  House  of  la  Cerda, 
the  elder  line  of  descent  from  Alfonso  X,  dispossessed  ever 

1  For  the  negotiations  at  Orense  see  Lopes,  v  94-104  ,   Ayala, 
i.  253-261      Froissart  has  nothing 

2  Fortescue,  Works,  p  497 



since  Sancho  IV  set  aside  his  nephew  Alfonso  de  la  Cerda 
the  "  disinherited,"  and  usurped  the  throne  * 

After  this  argument,  which  lasted  long,  the  envoys 
were  courteously  entertained  by  the  Duke  The  next 
day  they  had  their  answer,  Juan  Guttierez,  Bishop  of 
Dax,  as  spokesman  for  the  Duke,  answered  each  in  turn. 
It  was  rather  absurd  to  support  the  strong  claim  of 
Constance  as  elder  surviving  child  of  Don  Pedro  by  a 
far-fetched  claim  of  John  of  Gaunt  himself  as  great- 
grandson  of  Edward  I  and  Eleanor  of  Castile,  but  any 
argument  was  good  enough  in  a  case  of  hereditary  right 
The  Bishop  was  on  stronger  ground  when  to  the  claim 
of  the  House  of  la  Cerda  he  opposed  their  formal  renun 
ciation  and  the  homage  actually  done  by  Enrique  the 
Bastard  to  his  brother 

But  the  interest  of  the  conference  at  Orense  does  not 
lie  in  this  academic  discussion  of  title  Don  Juan's  real 
motive  was  betrayed  when  at  the  close  of  the  second  day's 
palaver  the  Prior  of  Guadelupe  disclosed  to  the  Duke 
that  he  was  the  bearer  of  secret  instructions  2  He  was 
empowered  to  propose  a  compromise  of  the  dynastic 
quarrel  by  the  marriage  of  the  heir  of  Don  Juan  with  the 
heiress  of  Queen  Constance,  Katharine  of  Lancaster ! 

If  Lancaster  had  realized  his  true  portion  he  would 
have  closed  with  this  offer  forthwith  It  was  the  natural 

1  The  House  of  La  Cerda  could  not  establish  any  such  right  for 
(i)  the  Stete  Partidas  which  first  recognised  the  modern  rule  of 
succession  had  not,  at  the  time  of  Sancho's  "  usurpation,"  been 
accepted  by  the  Cortes,  and  (11)  any  claim  which  the  descendants 
of  Alfonso  "  the  disinherited"  might  have  had  been  renounced, 
in  exchange  for  a  grant  of  lands,  by  the  Treaty  of  Camillo  (i  305) 

2  The  "  Secret  Treaty  "  is  established  beyond  a  doubt  by  a, 
document  in  the  French  archives.    On  September   u,  1386, 
Charles  VI  empowered  Jean  Sire  de  Foleville  to  represent  him  in 
the  negotiations  with  Lancaster,  and  the  commission  recites  that 
terms  Had  already  been  discussed     (Pieces  InediUst  i  74-6*)     See 
also  Lopes,  v  104,  and  the  convincing  account  of  Ayala,  u  255, 



and  obvious  solution  of  the  dynastic  pioblem  But  to 
accept  a  compromise  at  the  outset  would  have  placed 
him  in  difficulties  The  Duke  could  not  reckon  without 
his  ally ,  he  had  already  contracted  definite  obligations 
to  the  King* of  Portugal  The  invasion  of  Castile  was 
presupposed  by  all  the  elaborate  negotiations  which  had 
been  taking  place  between  himself,  Richard  II  and  Dom 
Joao.  He  may  of  course  have  suspected  the  good  faith 
of  his  adversary  and  regarded  the  whole  proposal  as  a 
ruse  invented  to  gam  time,  and  to  break  up  the  Anglo- 
Portuguese  federation  These  considerations  had  weight, 
but  there  was  something  further 

The  truth  is  that  John  of  Gaunt  never  realized  the 
hopelessness  of  his  position  The  fundamental  folly  of 
the  Plantagenet  claim  to  France  and  of  the  Lancastrian 
claim  to  Castile  was  the  same — the  attempt  to  force  an 
alien  dynasty  on  a  high  spirited  people  keenly  sensible 
of  their  national  honour.  Don  Pedro  died  in  1369  ; 
Enrique  in  1379 ;  since  then  Don  Juan  had  held  the 
sceptre  without  challenge.  The  House  of  Trastamare 
had  established  a  prescnptive  right 

Lancaster,  misled  by  the  support  of  a  few  Galician 
gentlemen  who  still  cherished  a  sentimental  affection 
for  the  line  of  Don  Pedro,  and  a  few  malcontents  from 
Castile  and  Leon,  imagined  that  one  striking  success 
would  throw  the  whole  people  into  his  arms  He  forgot 
that  such  a  success,  which  could  only  be  achieved  by  the 
united  forces  of  England  and  Portugal,  could  not  help  the 
dynastic  cause.  A  king  who  carved  his  way  to  the  throne 
by  Portuguese  swords  would  never  rule  long  in  Castile 

Miscalculation  of  political  forces,  loyalty  to  his  ally  and 
personal  pride,  all  urged  him  in  the  same  direction.  He 
chose  to  go  through  with  the  adventure  and  play  the 

1  Juan's  protestations  of  faith  in  his  subjects'  loyalty  make 
one  suspect  that  the  number  of  Castilians  who  were  sitting  on 
the  fence  was  considerable  Ayala,  u  303. 





>— I 


t— i 









game  To  the  proposal  of  the  Prior  of  Guadelupe  he 
returned  an  evasive  answer  Neither  rejecting  the  offer 
outright  nor  accepting  it,  he  sent  Sir  Thomas  Percy,  the 
best  head  in  the  army,  to  hear  what  Don  Juan  had  to  say, 
and  then  proceeded  to  commit  himself  still  further  to 

For,  on  the  heels  of  the  departing  envoys  from 
Castile  came  a  second  embassy.1  The  Falcon  Inn 
in  Gracechurch  Street  knew  the  Chancellor  of  Portugal 
no  longer  ,  after  more  than  three  years'  service  in  Eng 
land,  Lourengo  Annes  Foga$a  had  returned  to  Portugal, 
and  now  headed  a  deputation  sent  by  Dom  Joao  to  bear 
words  of  welcome  and  presents  to  the  Duke  of  Lancaster. 
The  Chancellor  and  his  colleague,  Vasco  Martins  de  Mello, 
were  also  charged  to  arrange  a  conference  between  their 
master  and  his  ally  at  a  place  on  the  northern  frontier  of 
the  two  kingdoms,  Ponte  do  Mouro,  on  the  nver  Minho, 
between  Melgaco  and  Moncao  The  offer  was  accepted, 
and  by  the  end  of  October  John  of  Gaunt  with  his  court 
was  at  the  Benedictine  Monastery  of  Cellanova  near 
Milmanda,  a  few  miles  from  the  meeting  place,  waiting 
for  the  approach  of  the  King  of  Portugal.*  It  was  on 
November  i  that  for  the  first  time  the  two  fangs  met  j 
John  of  Gaunt,  surrounded  by  an  imposing  retinue  of 
English,  Gahcian,  and  Castihan  knights ;  Dom  Joao  and 
his  knights  in  the  white  robes  of  the  Cistercian  order, 
with  the  crimson  cross  of  St.  George,  emblem  of  the 
Knights  of  Avis 

While  the  chivalry  of  England  and  Portugal  were 
fraternizing,  the  councils  of  the  allies  met  in  the  royal 
pavilion  of  Castile,  a  trophy  of  Aljubarrota,  to  concert 
measures  against  the  enemy. 

1  Lopes,  v  109, 1 12-3  >  Ayala,  11  250 

2  For  the  meeting  at  Ponte  do  Monro  see  Lopes,  v.  115-1 19. 
There  are  several  inaccuracies  in  Ayala's  account  of  the  treaty 
(11  251-2)  Froissart,  K  de  L.  xi  403-410 



It  was  at  Ponte  do  Mouro  that  Portugal  repaid  her  debt 
to  England  For  the  last  three  years  volunteers  had  been 
pouring  from  the  island  kingdom  to  fight  in  the  battles 
against  Castile.  As  a  soldier  the  Master  of  Avis  knew  the 
value  of  English  archers  and  men-at-arms  ,  as  a  states 
man  he  knew  the  moral  force  of  the  acknowledged  sympa 
thy  of  the  first  military  power  of  the  day  But  for  the 
events  of  the  last  few  years,  the  terms  of  the  present 
treaty  would  be  inexplicable  ,  it  would  appear  the  most 
one-sided  of  political  bargains.  The  first  article  disposed 
of  Sir  Thomas  Percy's  mission  for  good,  for  the  allies 
bound  themselves  together  in  an  offensive  alliance  against 
the  usurper  of  Castile.  By  the  second  Joao  undertook 
to  lead  an  army  of  5,000  men  to  help  Lancaster  from 
January  i  to  the  end  of  August  at  his  own  cost.  If  after 
the  expiration  of  eight  months  John  of  Gaunt  still  needed 
Portuguese  support  he  was  to  pay  the  cost  of  further 
operations,  but  the  allies  evidently  considered  eight 
months  enough  to  dispose  of  Don  Juan. 

Lancaster  on  his  side  agreed  that  after  the  conquest  of 
Castile  a  hue  of  towns  on  the  Portuguese  frontier,  from 
Ledesmain  the  north  to  Fregenal  in  the  south,  should  be 
ceded  to  his  ally,1  such  cession  being  obviously  con- 
tingent  on  the  success  of  the  expedition 

The  last  article  united  Lancastei  and  Portugal  by  a 
blood  alliance.  The  Duke,  as  we  have  seen,  had  brought 
both  his  unmarried  daughters  to  Spain,  Philippa  his 
eldest  child  and  Katharine.  It  says  much  for  the  poli 
tical  wisdom  of  Dom  Joao  that  he  chose  the  hand  of 
Philippa  Katharine,  as  the  only  surviving  child  of 
Queen  Constance,  would  ultimately  become  the  heiress 
of  Don  Pedro's  claim,  and  her  rights  vested  in  a  Queen  of 
Portugal  might  at  any  time  re-open  the  vexed  question 

1  Ledesma,  Matilla,  Monleon,  Plasencia,  Gnmaldo,  Canaveral, 
Alconeta,  Carceres,  AlcuSscar,  Menda,  Fuente  del  Maestre,  Zafra 



of  political  union  between  the  two  kingdoms,  the  prin 
ciple  against  which  the  Portuguese  king  had  successfully 
protested      Joao,  whose  policy  was  not  aggressive,  chose 
the  elder  daughter,  and  the  hand  of  Katharine  remained , 
at  her  father's  disposal. 

On  November  n>  Lancaster  at  Cellanova  ratified  the 
Treaty  of  Ponte  do  Mouro,  and  Joao  went  south  to  prepare 
for  the  coming  invasion  Phihppa  was  entrusted  to  the 
care  of  the  Archbishop  of  Braga  and  lodged  in  the  Fran 
ciscan  Abbey  at  Oporto  1  One  difficulty  yet  remained, 
before  effect  could  be  given  to  the  treaty  obligations.  Joao 
of  Avis  was  still  bound  by  his  priestly  vows  Immedi 
ately  on  his  election  as  king  he  had  despatched  envoys 
to  the  Pope  to  secure  his  release,  and  though  dispensation 
had  been  promised,  formalities  were  not  completed.  In 
January  the  King  was  still  a  suitor ;  Lent,  the  close 
season  for  marriages,  was  approaching,  and  the  cam 
paign  was  soon  to  open,  yet  Joao  and  Philippa  were 
still  exchanging  presents,  but  not  the  vows  which  should 
make  Phihppa  Queen  of  Portugal  and  definitely  seal  the 
Lancastrian  alliance, 

It  was  clear  that  a  hitch  had  occurred  in  the  negotia 
tions  at  the  Papal  court  This  contretemps  has  given  an 
opening  to  the  gossips  of  the  ancient  and  modern  world. 
Froissart  would  have  us  believe  that  Lancaster,  who  had 
staked  everything  on  the  Portuguese  alliance,  hesitated 
at  a  blood  alliance  with  one  whom  his  enemies  described 
as  a  bastard,  and  renegade  monk,  and  that  Joao  on  the 
other  hand,  alarmed  by  the  preparations  of  the  French 
to  invade  England,  began  to  repent  of  the  alliance,3  while 
a  modern  writer  has  assured  us  that  Phihppa  was  not 
beautiful  and  that  the  King  found  among  his  subjects 
ladies  who  were  both  charming  and  complaisant.8 

1  Lopes,  v  121. 

2  Froissart,  K.  de  L  xii  77-79 

3  Count  Villa  Franca  in  Joao  lea  AHianfa  Ingleze 



Like  so  many  pieces  of  court  scandal,  the  tale  is  without 
foundation  What  really  happened  was  this.  Lan 
caster,  who  constantly  had  dealings  with  the  Papal  court, 
had  there  in  1386  an  agent  who,  like  many  of  his  master's 
partizans,  possessed  more  zeal  than  discretion,  A  little 
knowledge  proved,  as  usual,  a  dangerous  thing.  The 
agent  knew  that  John  of  Gaunt  claimed  the  kingdom  of 
Castile,  and  knew  also  that  the  de  facto  King  of  Castile 
claimed  Portugal  as  well.  Of  the  relations  between 
Lancaster  and  his  ally  he  appears  to  have  been  ignorant, 
and  when  Dom  Joao's  envoys  pressed  for  the  issue  of  the 
Bull  of  dispensation  they  encountered  opposition  in  the 
most  unexpected  quarter,  the  Duke's  agent  protesting 
that  Dom  Joao  was  a  usurper,  and  that  Lancaster  was 
the  legitimate  king  When  the  circumstances  were  laid 
before  him  the  Duke  was  naturally  indignant,  denied  all 
knowledge  of  the  affair,  and  offered  to  send  his  own 
Chancellor  to  the  Pope  to  explain.  All  this  took  time, 
and  Joao  determined  to  wait  no  longer *  On  February  2, 
I38?J  Joao  of  Avis  and  Phihppa  of  Lancaster  received 
the  blessing  of  the  Church  in  the  Cathedral  of  Oporto 
In  a  manifesto  addressed  to  his  sublets  the  King  ex 
plained  the  situation2  The  Bull  had  been  already 
granted ,  only  formalities  remained  In  a  few  days 
Lent  would  begin  and  the  campaign  would  open.  He 
declared  his  intention  of  beginning  his  married  life  on 
February  14,  and  invited  his  subjects  to  welcome  their 

1  After  considerable  delay  the  Bull  was  finally  issued  by 
Boniface  IX  (dated  Rome,  February  5,  2  Boniface  IX)  It 
recites  the  circumstances,  absolves  Joao  from  the  penalty  of 
excommunication  for  marrying,  dispenses  him  from  his  vows, 
and  legitimates  the  marriage  and  offspring 

It  was  read  from  the  pulpit  of  the  Cathedral  at  Lisbon  on  July  * 
I,   1391      Scares    da  Sdva,   Colleccao  dos  Documents  para  as 
memonas  del  Rey  D    Joao  I,  Vol   xv  p   50,  Nos,  ix,  and  x   and 
Fernao  Lopes,  vi  9-28     Papal  Letters  iv  367 

3  Lopes,  v  122-128  ,  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  xn  90-95 













i — i 




new  Queen  with  appropriate  rejoicings.  Portugal  re 
sponded  with  enthusiasm,  and  for  fifteen  days  the  mar 
riage  which  was  to  inaugurate  the  new  dynasty  was  cele 
brated  throughout  the  kingdom. 

In  postponing  the  military  history  of  this  enterprise 
to  the  story  of  diplomatic  intercourse,  the  narrative  has 
only  followed  Lancaster's  own  procedure,  for  the  first 
place  in  his  mind  was  occupied  by  negotiations,  the 
threads  of  which  he  kept  in  his  own  hand  while  leaving 
the  fighting  to  his  officers 

The  military  operations  of  1386-7  fall  into  two  parts, 
the  reduction  of  Galicia,  and  the  invasion  of  Castile. 

The  first  task  was  accomplished  by  the  Duke's  Mar 
shals,  Sir  Thomas  Moneux  and  Sir  Richard  Burley, 
and  was  fairly  complete  before  the  joint  invasion  of 
Castile  by  the  Portuguese  and  English  armies.  The 
campaign,  so  far  as  it  deserves  that  name,  was  one  of 
sieges ,  there  was  no  battle,  for  there  was  no  enemy. 
From  Santiago  the  Marshals  rode  to  town  after  town 
summoning  the  inhabitants,  who  for  the  most  part  were 
perfectly  indifferent  to  the  dynastic  quarrel,  to  accept 
their  lawful  sovereign  Queen  Constance  and  King  John.1 
Where  resistance  was  offered  it  was  because  the  burgesses 
feared  pillage  at  the  hands  of  the  army,  or  dreaded  that 
surrender  to  King  John  would  be  punished  sooner  or 
later  by  King  Juan*  Now  and  then,  where  the  de  facto 
king's  garrisons  were  stiffened  by  Breton  or  French 
soldiers  of  fortune,  there  was  some  stubborn  fighting.  It 
is  impossible  to  follow  the  course  of  events  with  any  sort 

1  Froissart's  account  of  the  Gahcian  campaign  is  simply  hope 
less  Chronology  and  topography  are  nothing  to  him  The 
Marshal  takes  a  town  in  the  heart  of  Leon,  and  goes  back  to 
Santiago  to  dinner  1  It  is  curious  that  Froissart  should  have 
made  such  a  muddle  of  it,  for  he  was  in  Foix  m  1388,  where  there 
were  eye-witnesses  to  question,  and  Joao  Fernandes  Pacheco, 
who  told  him  about  it  at  Middelburgh  a  few  years  later,  was  in 
a  position  to  know. 



of  precision,  for  the  accounts  that  have  survived  are 
either  meagre  or  hopelessly  confused,  but  the  main 
features  of  the  operations  are  fairly  intelligible  At  first 
Santiago  was  the  headquarters,  but  very  soon  the  army 
appears  in  the  south  of  Galicia,  and  the  Duke  seems  to 
have  been  in  possession  of  Orense  m  August  Then,  from 
Betanzos  and  Ferrol  in  the  north  to  the  river  Minho, 
which  forms  the  southern  boundary  of  Galicia,  the  English 
army  got  possession  by  force  or  by  composition  of  the 
most  important  towns  and  strongholds,  until  by  the 
spring  of  1387  they  had  got  a  grip  of  the  whole  northern 

Pontevedra  surrendered  after  a  day's  siege,  and  a 
Galieian  knight  of  the  retinue  of  Queen  Constance  re 
placed  Don  Juan's  captain 3  Vigo  followed  suit,  and 
Bayona  surrendered  at  the  first  assault  Ribadave 
formed  an  exception  to  the  indifference  of  the  Gallegos 
and  made  a  stout  defence  The  town  was  built  on  a 
strong  position,  assailable  on  one  side  only,  but  neither 
the  natural  strength  of  the  position,  nor  the  courage  of 
the  besieged,  saved  it.  The  English  army  stormed  the 
walls,  sacked  the  town,  and  captured  a  certain  amount 
of  treasure 

From  a  strategical  point  of  view  the  conquest  of 
Galicia  was  useless  It  was  not  even  necessary  to  hold 
Coruna  as  a  base,  for  no  supplies  or  reinforcements  were 
expected  from  England  or  Gascony,  and  the  fleet  had  been 
dismissed.  The  excellent  port  of  Vigo  in  the  south 
would  serve  the  purposes  of  re-embarkation,  and  after  the 
treaty  of  Ponte  do  Mouro  the  harbours  of  Portugal  were  at 
the  disposal  of  the  English,  and  HI  the  end,  as  will  be  seen, 

1  Lancaster's  successes  in  Gakcia  were  reported  in  England, 
where  his  dynastic  policy  was  followed  with  interest  Higd  ix 

3  For  Pontevedra  see  Froissart  K  deL  xi  410-17  ,  Vigo,  417- 
420  ,  Bayona,  420-5  >  Ribadave,  425-90  ,  xu.  79-87  ,  Orense, 
185-202 ,  Ferrol,  205-215 








the  army  sailed  from  Oporto  Not  only  were  the  opera 
tions  in  the  northern  province  useless  for  any  military 
purpose,  they  were  actually  harmful,  for  the  casualties  * 
which  resulted  from  the  unimportant  fighting  and  march 
ing  in  a  poor  country,  where  supplies  were  difficult  to  get, 
together  with  the  locking  up  of  valuable  forces  in  garri 
sons  damaged  the  army  as  an  effective  fighting  force. 

From  a  political  point  of  view,  however,  there  was  a 
certain  justification  for  the  Duke's  policy  With  his  banner 
flying  from  the  walls  of  the  Galician  strongholds  the  pre 
tender  was  in  a  better  position  to  make  terms  with  his 
adversary  on  the  one  hand  and  his  ally  on  the  other. 
Failing  the  possibility  of  immediate  decisive  action  by  the 
English  and  Portuguese  armies  acting  together,  which 
was  the  proper  course,  the  Duke  may  have  held  with 
some  show  of  reason  that  the  occupation  of  the  northern 
province  strengthened  his  hand  and  gave  him  a  certain 

The  real  military  interest  of  the  story  begins  with  the 
joint  invasion  of  March,  1387. 2  The  allies  met  near 
Braganza,3  at  the  end  of  March  r  this  was  later  than  the 
date  contemplated  by  the  Treaty  of  Ponte  do  Mouro,  but 
Dom  J  OSLO'S  excuses  were  readily  accepted,  for  the  fault 
lay  solely  with  the  busybody  at  the  Papal  Court  who  had 
delayed  the  marriage.  To  clear  up  any  possible  mis 
understanding  on  this  score  John  and  Constance  formally 
renounced  and  transferred  to  their  ally  any  right  which 
they  had  or  could  have  in  the  Kingdom  of  Portugal.* 

1  For  the  English  losses  by  disease  in  Gahcia  see  Ayala,  11  251 
a  For  the  invasion  see  Lopes,  v  130-171  ,  Ayala,  11    263-6  , 
Froissart,  K  de  L  xu  295-308 

3  It  was  at  Braganza  that  the  duel  was  fought  by  Sir  John 
Holland  and  Sir  Regnault  de  Roie      See  safe  conduct,  undated 
(?  end  of  March,  1387)     Delpit  Collection,  No    ccxcui    p.  206  , 
Froissart,  K  deL.  xu  115-124 

4  The  donation  is  dated  Babe  (near  Braganza),  March  26, 
1425,  AD    1387,  Sousa  Provas  de  Histtma  Genealogtca,  i    354; 
Scares  da~Silva,  Colleccao  do$  Documentos>  iv  No  XL. 



Then,  when  the  last  Portuguese  levies  had  come  from  the 
south,  Philippa  returned  to  Oporto  and  the  march  began 

Disease  and  garrison  duty  had  reduced  Lancaster's 
available  force  to  something  like  six  hundred  men-at-arms 
and  six  hundred  archers  ;  Joao,  however,  put  about  ten 
thousand  men  in  the  field,  an  army  nearly  twice  as  large 
as  that  stipulated  for  by  the  treaty  In  spite  of  this  dis 
proportion  of  force  the  King  of  Portugal  made  no  claim 
to  direct  operations ,  indeed  the  deference  which  he 
showed  to  his  father-in-law  throughout  the  campaign 
appeared  to  his  own  subjects  extravagant,  and  only  the 
instances  of  Nuno  Alvares  Pereira,  the  Constable,  pre 
vented  him  from  conceding  to  Lancaster  the  post  of 
honour  which  he  held  in  the  campaign  of  1367,  the  com 
mand  of  the  van 

The  plan  was  to  march  north-east  into  Leon  ;  once 
established  there,  Lancaster  expected  his  adherents  to 
declare  themselves  and  to  flock  to  his  standard  By 
March  30  the  combined  armies  had  passed  Alcanices 
and  entered  Don  Juan's  territories  ,  by  Easter  they  were 
at  Benavente,  in  the  heart  of  the  old  kingdom  of  Leon. 

Meanwhile  Don  Juan  was  moving  about  in  a  helpless 
way  on  the  line  of  the  Douro  between  TordesiUas  Toro 
and  Zamora  How  far  he  had  relied  on  negotiations  to 
stave  off  invasion  must  remain  uncertain,1  but,  the  in 
vasion  once  a  fact,  the  King's  plan  was  clear  He  had 
no  intention  of  risking  battle,  and  was  committed  to  a 
wholly  defensive  policy.  Though  the  large  reinforce 
ments  promised  by  Charles  VI  had  not  yet  arrived,  there 
were  numbers  of  French  volunteers  in  Juan's  service,  and 
their  advice  was  accepted  2 — to  clear  the  country  so  far 

1  Ayala  admits  that  Juan  was  afraid  to  fight    "  temia  mucho 
la  guerra,  por  quanto  avia  grand  mengua  de  gentes  de  annas  en 
el  su  regno,  ca  los  mas  e  me]  ores  capitanes  avia  perdido  en  la 
guerra  de  Portogal  de  pestilencia,  6  de  batallas  (11  252) 

2  For  the  advice  of  the  French  volunteers,  see  Froissart,  K  de 
L,  xi  350-6 



as  possible  before  the  invaders,  garrison  the  strong  places 
and  abandon  the  weak,  and  while  leaving  no  vulnerable 
point  for  attack,  to  wear  out  the  enemy  by  fatigue,  starva 
tion  and  disease  Juan  was  taking  a  leaf  out  of  the 
book  of  Charles  V,  but  the  policy  of  inaction  accepted  in 
France  was  new  to  Castile,  and  required  justification.1 
Could  a  more  convincing  argument  be  conceived  than 
that  afforded  by  the  great  march  from  Calais  to  Bor 
deaux  ?  The  King  reminds  his  sub]ects  of  Lancaster's 
failure  in  1373,  and  proposes  to  defeat  him  by  the  same 
means  in  1387. a  Once  more  the  policy  of  inaction  was 
fully  justified  by  its  results.  Lancaster's  archers  and 
Joao's  lancers  never  had  the  chance  of  winning  another 
Al]ubarrota.  For  all  practical  purposes  the  invasion 
ended  at  Benavente.  It  was  hopeless  to  attempt  a  siege 
of  the  town,  which  was  held  in  force  by  Alvar  Perez  de 
Osono,  a  noble  of  Leon  ;  and  though  individual  Castilians 
were  quite  willing  to  break  a  lance  with  English  or  Por 
tuguese  knights,  there  was  no  chance  of  bringing  on  an 
engagement  Joao  Fernandes  Pacheco,  who  in  later 
years  told  the  story  of  the  campaign  to  Froissart,  marched 
north  threatening  Astorga,  but  the  demonstration  pro 
duced  no  appreciable  effects.  Other  attacks  were  delivered 

1  In  a  circular  letter  to  the  cities  of  the  kingdom  Juan  gives 
his  reasons  for  not  fighting  a  pitched  battle     (i)  His  forces  are 
scattered  on  the  frontiers  of  the  kingdom  ;  (2)  the  Enghsh  may 
go  away  without  fighting }  (3)  the  precedents  of  Alfonso  and  the 
Moors,  Charles  V  and  the  Enghsh,  point  the  other  way ,    (4) 
Bourbon  and  the  2,000  French  lances  have   not  yet   arrived 
Ayala,  11  634-7  (note) 

2  Otrosi  el  Rey  de  Francia,  quando  el  Principe  entr6  en  su 
regno,  e  quando  el  Duque  de  Alencastre  nuestro  enemigo  pas6  a 
Francia  agora  ha  diez  anos  con  el  poder  mayor  que  jamas  sali6 
de  Inglaterra,  que  eran  fasta  quarenta  e  quatro  mid  de  a  caballo, 
los  entretuvo  en  tal  manera,  que  salieron  muy  perdidos  de  su 
regno,  especialmente  el  dicho  Duque,  que  non  tornaron  con  el  a 
Burdeos  mas  que  tres  mil  lanzas  ,   por  lo  qual  fasta  agora  nunca 
los  dichos  Ingleses  han  podido  facer  otro  ningun  pasage :  tanta 
perdida  6  mal  rescibieron,    Ayala,  11  636  (note), 



east  and  south  of  Benavente,  but  a  fortnight's  desultory 
fighting  and  the  capture  of  some  half-dozen  towns, 
Matilla,  Roales,  Santillan,  Valderas  and  Villalobos,1  left 
Lancaster  no  nearer  to  the  goal  of  his  ambitions  Mean 
while  a  deadlier  enemy  than  French  or  Castilian  had  been 
fighting  the  English  army  Froissart  says  that  the  English 
archers  drank  the  strong  wines  of  the  country  till  they  were 
useless  for  fighting  Whether  it  was  intemperance,  or  short 
rations,  and  hard  marching  m  an  unaccustomed  climate, 
dysentery  broke  out ,  and  dysentery  was  succeeded  by  an 
outbreak  of  the  plague.2  Lancaster  himself  is  said  to 
have  sickened,  but  his  great  physical  strength  pulled  him 
through.  Among  his  followers  the  mortality  was  fearful. 
According  to  one  estimate  three  hundred  knights  and 
esquires  died  besides  a  great  number  of  archers.  After 
the  deadly  summer  of  1387  many  a  well-known  name 
falls  out  of  the  roll-call  of  the  Lancastrian  retinue.  More 
fortunate  than  their  comrades,  the  gallant  Poitevin  Sir 
Maubunu  de  Lmieres  and  Sir  John  Falconer  died  with 
arms  in  their  hands  ,  disease  accounted  for  Lord  Poyn- 
mgs,  Lord  Fitzwalter,  Lord  Scales,  both  the  Marshals, 
Sir  Thomas  Moneux  and  Sir  Richard  Burley,  Sir  John 
Marmion,  Sir  Hugh  Hastings,  Sir  Thomas  Symond  and  Sir 
Thomas  Fychet.  A  Percy  too  was  among  the  victims, 
Thomas  the' younger  brother  of  "  Hotspur  "  3 

It  was  clear  that  as  a  fighting  force  Lancaster's  army 
was  useless.  Dom  Joao  put  the  issue  to  him  clearly : 
either  he  must  get  together  another  force  from  England, 
or  he  must  accept  the  compromise  offered  at  Orense.  The 
enemy  believed  that  the  first  alternative  would  be  chosen, 
and  already  the  rumour  had  got  about  that  Lancaster 

1  For  Roales  and  Villalobos  see  Froissart,  K  de  L.  xi  377-87 

2  For  the  plague  and  the  break  up  of  the  English  army,  see 
Froissart,  K.  de  L  xn  308-11,  311-26 

3  Here  Walsmgham  inserts  the  usual  repentance     The  Duke 
weeps  for  his  past  life,  etc.  etc  11  193-4. 



had  sent  home  to  recruit  a  second  army *  There  were  the 
Portuguese  forces  moreover  to  be  reckoned  with,  for  the 
plague  had  not  touched  them.    On  both  grounds  there 
fore  Don  Juan  was  willing  to  resume  negotiations.    When 
the  French  auxiliaries  under  the    Duke  of   Bourbon 
began  to  arrive  the  campaign  was  already  over     There 
was  little'  to  choose  so  far  as  the  cities  of  Castile  were 
concerned,  whether  they  should  be  plundered  by  Breton 
free  lances  or  English  archers,  and  the  King  was  as  much 
afraid  of  his  friends  as  of  his  enemies.    It  was  an  expen 
sive  matter  to  maintain  a  large  body  of  foreign  mercen 
aries,  so  the  Frenchmen  were  thanked,  paid,  and  dismissed a 
The    plague-stncken    army    was    disbanded ,     some 
received  letters  of  safe  conduct  from  Don  Juan  to  return 
through  his  terntory  to  Gascony ;  others  followed  the 
Duke  to  the  friendly  soil  of  Portugal     Turning  south 
from  the  neighbourhood  of  Benavente,  between  Zamora 
and  Toro,  Lancaster  and  his  ally  marched   to   Cmdad 
Rodngo,  and  thence  over  the  frontier  to  Almeida     At 
Trancoso3  the  Duke  was  overtaken  by  Juan's  envoys, 
who  offered  once  more  the  terms  of  the  secret  treaty  of 
Orense  as  the  price  of  renunciation  of  rights  which  could 
not  be  enforced — generous  terms  to  a  foiled  if  not  de 
feated  foe.    This  time   they  were  accepted,  and  after 
agreeing  to  a  compromise  on  the  lines  suggested,  to  be 
ratified  at  Bayonne  as  soon  as  convenient,  Lancaster 
withdrew  to  Coimbra 

The  allies  had  passed  unscathed  through  the  campaign 
only  to  encounter  more  formidable  dangers  at  its  dose, 
for  in  July  the  King  of  Portugal  fell  dangerously  ill  and 
the  "  King  and  Queen  of  Castile  "  narrowly  escaped  being 
poisoned  by  a  Castilian  conspirator.  However,  Joao 
recovered,  and  the  plot  against  his  father-in-law  was  dis- 

1  Eulog  111  367, 

2  Ayala;ii  266-8 

3  For  the  negotiations  at  Trancoso  see  *  ^yala,  11  268-9 



covered  in  tune, and  in  October  John  of  Gaunt  said  farewell 
to  his  ally  and  left  Oporto  for  Bayonne x  There,  where  the 
body  of  the  first  Earl  of  Lancaster  rested,  Edmund  "  King 
of  Sicily  and  Apulia,"  the  "  King  of  Castile  and  Leon  " 
waited  for  the  embassy  from  his  rival,  and  prepared  to  lay 
down  his  royal  state.  But  while  day  after  day  passed,  no 
embassy  arrived  Once  more  the  Duke,  whose  experience 
had  taught  him  what  faith  was  to  be  put  in  princes,  began 
to  entertain  the  old  suspicion — that  Don  Juan  was  playing 
him  false  and,  once  rid  of  the  invading  army,  would  re 
pudiate  his  undertakings. 

If  he  could  not  win  the  crown  of  Castile  for  himself 
John  of  Gaunt  was  at  least  resolved  that  it  should  be 
worn  by  his  daughter.  Force  being  out  of  the  question, 
he  had  recourse  to  other  means,  and  proceeded  to  teach 
his  contemporaries  a  short  lesson  in  the  art  of  state 

Relations  between  the  Courts  of  France  and  Castile 
for  the  moment  were  somewhat  strained  The  Duke  of 
Bourboa  and  the  French  auxiliaries  had  been  dismissed 
with  scant  ceremony,  and  Charles  VI  considered  that 
Juan  had  not  behaved  with  proper  deference  to  the  para 
mount  power.  Lancaster,  understanding  the  situation, 
and  being,  as  Froissart  tells  us,  "  sage  et  ^mag^nat^f?y  used 
the  ]ealousy  of  Charles  VI  to  produce  the  very  result 
which  Charles  feared.  The  courtly  author  of  the  Chron 
icles  assures  us  that  Katharine  of  Lancaster  was  beau 
tiful.  The  Duke  of  Bern  was  a  widower,  and,  according 
to  the  same  authority,  a  man  of  confirmed  domestic 

1  Letters  of  general  attorney  of  John,  King  of  Castile,  "  qui  in 
partibus  transmanms  moratur  "   Foed^VII  564     Notification  of 
the  appointment  of  Lancaster  as  the  King's  Lieutenant  in  the 
Duchy   of   Aquitame,  dated  May  26,  1388     Foed,  VII  585-6 
Lancaster's  arrival  caused  some  alarm  at  the   French    court 
See  mandate  of  Charles  VI  to  the  receivers  of  Bayeux  for  the 
levying  of  an  aid  dated  CompiSgne,  Dec,  19,  1387.  Prices  Inedites, 
i  83  (Brit.  Mus  Add  Ch  ,  3360), 



habits.  It  was  one  of  Bern's  maxims  that  "  un  hotel 
tfun  seignenr  ne  vaut  nen  sans  dame,  m  un  homme  sans 
femme  1 "  When,  therefore,  his  wise  councillors  suggested 
that  Juan  might  very  well  be  thrown  overboard,  and  the 
hand  and  hentage  of  Katharine  won  for  a  French  prince, 
Bern  was  charmed  with  the  idea  He  proposed  himself 
for  the  match,  and  forthwith  despatched  Hehon  de  Lignac, 
his  right-hand  man,  to  Lancaster's  court  on  this  delicate 
mission  * 

There  is  a  time  to  speak  one's  whole  mind,  and  a  time 
to  be  silent.  John  of  Gaunt  thought  the  case  was  one 
for  reserve,  and  without  committing  himself  encouraged 
the  suit,  and  contnved  to  make  the  visit  of  Hehon  de 
Lignac  to  Bordeaux  particularly  agreeable.  The  next 
step  was  to  bring  Bern's  suit  to  the  ears  of  the  King  of 
Castile.  What  more  natural  than  that  the  Duke  should 
mention  it  to  his  friend  the  Count  of  Foix  ?  For  the 
purposes  of  gossip  Foix  was  particularly  well  placed. 
Soldiers  of  fortune  bound  for  Spam,  pilgrims  bound  for 
Santiago,  every  one  in  fact  bound  for  the  south  knew  the 
hospitality  of  Gaston  Phoebus,  and  felt  sure  of  a  welcome 
at  the  Court  of  Orthez,  where  a  few  months  later  that 
paragon  of  gossips,  Sire  Jean  Froissart  himself,  puzzling 
over  the  intricacies  of  the  Spanish  campaign,  learnt  the 
news  of  this  startling  development. 

From  Foix  the  tale  of  Bern's  courtship  spread  to 
Navarre,  and  from  his  brother-in-law  of  Navarre  it 
reached  the  ears  of  Don  Juan  himself,  There  is  no 
reason  to  doubt  Juan's  good  faith ;  financial  difficulties 
were  probably  responsible  for  the  delay,  but  when  the 
report  of  Bern's  demarche  reached  him  Juan  took  alarm. 
Before  many  days  his  envoys  were  on  the  way  to  Bayonne 
to  claim  the  fulfilment  of  the  conditions  proposed  at 

1  For  Bern's  courtship  see  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  xiu.  110-116, 
1 3  2-4  Ayala  says  nothing  about  it 




Lancaster  had  won  the  game  ,  and  while  the  wits  of 
Charles'  court  were  making  merry  over  the  short  and  ill- 
fated  courtship  of  the  Duke  of  Bern,  John  of  Gaunt  was 
sealing  the  compact  with  his  adversary  which  promised 
Katharine  to  the  Infante,  and  put  an  end  once  and  for 
all  to  the  Lancastrian  claim 

The  Castihan  embassy  consisted  of  Brother  Fernando 
de  Illescas,  the  King's  confessor,  and  a  couple  of  trusted 
lawyers  An  edifying  discourse  on  the  blessings  of  peace 
was  preached  before  the  Duke  and  Duchess  in  their 
chapel  by  the  chief  envoy,  but  as  Lancaster  had  never 
learned  Spanish  the  point  of  the  homily  was  rather  lost 
upon  him  When  it  came  to  business,  however,  the 
Duke  made  himself  understood  and  showed  that  he 
could  drive  a  hard  bargain. 

A  few  articles  of  the  Treaty *  concluded  in  the  spring  of 
1388  are  of  general  interest ,  the  first,  for  instance,  in 
which  the  two  contracting  parties  professed  their  anxiety 
to  heal  the  schism  in  the  Church,  and  which  could  not 
amount  to  much  more  than  a  pious  hope  while  both  re 
mained  committed  to  opposite  sides  By  the  second 
they  bound  themselves  to  promote  better  relations  be 
tween  England  and  France,  an  engagement  in  which  the 
Duke  was  certainly  sincere,  though  he  failed  to  induce  his 
adversary  to  abandon  his  existing  obligations  to 
Charles  VI.  After  this  preamble  the  treaty  is  perfectly 
definite,  and  astounding  in  the  generosity  of  its  conces 
sions  to  Lancaster's  claims 

On  the  one  hand  John  and  Constance  undertook  to 
swear  upon  the  holy  gospels  (an  oath  from  which  under 
pain  of  excommunication  they  were  never  to  seek  release) 
to  renounce  and  transfer  to  Juan  I  any  right  which  they 
had  or  might  have  in  the  kingdoms  of  Castile,  Leon, 

1  For  the  Treaty  see  Ayala,  u.  271-8  ,  Higd  ix   97      It  was 
ratified  by  Enrique  III  in  1391      Ayala,  u.  387 



Toledo,  Gahcia,  Seville,  Cordova,  Murcia,  Jaen,  Algarve,1 
and  Algeciras,  and  the  lordships  of  Lara,  Biscay  and 

On  the  other  hand  the  de  facto  King  agreed  to  terms  of 
compensation  so  important  as  to  constitute  an  implicit 
acknowledgment  of  the  legality  of  his  rival's  claim. 

The  foundation  of  the  compromise  was  the  ultimate 
fusion  of  the  claims  of  Trastamare  and  Burgundy 
Within  two  months  of  the  ratification  oi  the  treaty 
Katharine  of  Lancaster  was  to  be  married  to  Enrique, 
eldest  son  of  Juan  I  The  Prince  and  Princess  of  the 
Asturias  (such  was  to  be  their  new  title)  \\ere  to  be  pre 
sented  to  the  Cortes  at  the  earliest  moment  and  recog 
nized  as  heir  and  heiress  to  the  throne,  while  to  support 
their  dignity  a  sufficient  appanage  was  to  be  assigned  to 
them — the  towns  of  Sona,  Almazan,  Atienza,  Deza  and 
Molina,  the  large  fief  formerly  granted  by  Enrique  the 
Magnificent  to  Bertrand  du  Guesclm 

In  1388  Enrique  the  Infante  was  only  in  his  tenth  year,2 
while  Katharine  was  fourteen  To  guard  against  any 
possible  danger  that  Katharine  might  lose  her  right,  it 
was  provided  that  Juan's  second  son,  Don  Fernando, 
should  remain  unmarried  until  the  union  had  been  con 
summated,  and  that  should  Enrique  die  before  that  date, 
he  should  take  his  brother's  place 

So  much  for  the  ultimate  succession  It  remained  for 
Don  Juan  to  satisfy  the  immediate  claims  of  the  heirs  of 
the  dispossessed  House  This  he  agreed  to  do  in  the  most 
ample  manner  The  cession  of  the  revenues  and  govern 
ment  of  three  important  to^wns,  Guadalajara,  Medina  del 
Campo  and  Olmedo,  saving  only  the  direct  suzerainty, 
to  "  Queen  "  Constance  was  perhaps  only  claimed  by 

1  Portuguese  Algarve  had  been  already  ceded  to  Joao  I  "by  the 
donation  of  March  26,  1387  See  above,  p  323  note 

3  Enrique  (III)  was  born  in  Burgos,  October  4,  1379  Ayala, 
11  128 



sentiment,  but  the  other  articles  were  practical,  and  suffi 
ciently  serious  for  Castile. 

For  the  lifetime  of  the  Duke  and  Duchess,  and  for  the 
lifetime  of  the  survivor,  Juan  undertook  to  pay  an  annuity 
of  forty  thousand  francs  of  gold,  and  the  unhappy  King, 
who  had  already  "been  compelled  to  pay  his  allies,  was 
now  compelled  to  indemnify  his  enemy  for  the  costs  of 
the  campaign  John  of  Gaunt  was  to  receive  the  enor 
mous  sum  of  six  hundred  thousand  francs  of  gold,  to  be 
paid  at  Bayorme  by  equal  instalments  within  the  next 
three  years.  For  both  payments  hostages,  nobles  and 
burgesses  of  Castile,  were  to  be  given. 

Even  now  Juan's  concessions  were  not  exhausted  It 
was  necessary  to  contemplate  the  ultimate  failure  of  the 
royal  line.  The  agreement  fixed  the  succession  first  in 
the  issue  of  Katharine  and  Enrique  ,  if  Katharine  died 
without  issue,  in  Enrique  and  his  line  ,  if  both  died  with- 
out  issue,  in  Don  Fernando  and  his  line,  and  finally 
in  any  other  issue,  of  Don  Juan.  But  in  case  all  these 
claims  became  extinct  the  right  to  the  throne  was  to 
revert  to  Constance  of  Castile  and  her  husband  and  their 
issue.  In  any  case  the  act  of  renunciation  was  to  become 
void  if  payment  of  the  annuity  fell  three  years  in  arrear. 

On  these  conditions  Juan  I  and  John  of  Gaunt,  no  longer 
"  King  of  Castile,"  consented  to  be  true  friends  and  allies  ; 
onerous  as  they  were,  they  were  for  the  most  part  loyally 
fulfilled,1  Few  will  be  found  to  quarrel  with  the  judg- 

1  The  indemnity  was  paid,  though  it  produced  a  financial  crisis 
The  general  tax  proposed  at  the  Cortes  of  Briviesca  had  to  be 
abandoned,  for  the  nobles  and  clergy  succeeded  in  asserting  their 
privileges  (Ayala,  11  272  and  279)  Safe  conduct  for  the  hostages 
dated  Aug  26,  1388  (Foedy  VII  603)  Kmghton  says  that  it  took 
47  mules  to  carry  the  second  instalments  (u  208)  The  annuity 
seems  to  have  been  paid  almost  up  to  the  end  of  Lan 
caster's  life  See  general  safe  conduct  for  Juan's  agents 
dated  July  13, 1391  (Foedy  VII  704)  In  1393  it  was  two  years  in 
arrear ,  Lancaster  sent  envoys  to  Enrique  III,  excusing  pay 
ment  of  interest  in  honour  of  Queen  Katharine,  but  claiming  the 



ment  of  that  disinterested  spectator,  the  Count  of  Foix, 
who,  expressing  himself  in  terms  far  from  complimentary 
to  Juan  I,  added  of  Lancaster  .  "  Par  ma  foi,  il  y  a 
ung  sage  homme  au  due  de  Lancastre,  et  vaillamment  et 
sagement  il  s'est  porte  en  ceste  guerre !  " 1 

The  great  adventure,  which  had  cost  so  many  years  of 
labour  and  scheming  to  prepare,  and  so  many  gallant 
lives  to  achieve,  ended  with  the  sound  of  marriage  bells. 
In  September  at  Fuentarrabia  on  the  Guipuzcoan  frontier, 
a  cortege  of  prelates,  knights,  and  ladies  of  Castile  re 
ceived  Katharine  of  Lancaster  from  her  English  escort 
and  conducted  her  with  the  honour  due  to  the  heiress 
apparent  to  Palencia.  There  in  the  Church  of  St.  Antolrn 
she  was  married  by  the  Archbishop  of  Seville  to  the  In 
fante  2 

There  were  two  powers  who  found  the  settlement  of 
the  Lancastrian  claim  far  from  satisfactory — France  and 
the  Papacy. 

There  was  no  disguising  the  fact  that  so  far  as  the 
Church  was  concerned  the  Crusade  had  been  a  failure. 
Urban  VI  showed  his  displeasure  by  revoking  the  powers 
granted  to  Brother  Walter  Dysse  and  the  Bishops  of 
Hereford,  Llandaff  and  Dax,  and  citing  them  to  appear 
before  him  in  person  to  explain  their  conduct  in  con 
tinuing  to  raise  money  by  the  sale  of  indulgences,  long 
after  the  cause  for  which  they  had  been  granted  had 
ceased  to  be  operative.3 

The  King  of  France,  too,  affected  to  see  in  the  protracted 
negotiations  which  Lancaster  set  on  foot  after  the  Treaty 

principal  (Ayala,  11  480)  For  payment  in  1394  see  Appendix  IV. 
Balance  Sheet  There  is  a  safe  conduct  for  the  King's  agents 
dated  January  12,  1397  (Foedt  VII  849),  three  years  after  the 
death  of  Constance  In  1399  there  were  arrears  (Appendix  I. 

p  429-430) 

1  Froissart,  K  de  L  xiu  297 

2  Ayala,  11  278-80 

3  Mandate  to  the  Archbishop  of  Bordeaux  dated  17  Kal,  Feb. 
1389  (i  i  Urban  VI)     Papal  L&Uers,  iv  270-1 



of  1388  i  a  deliberate  attempt  to  detach  Castile  from  the 
French  alliance  Apart  from  the  fact  that  the  Duke  was 
now  firmly  committed  to  a  policy  of  international  peace 
and  had  no  aggressive  intentions,  there  was  a  certain 
justification  for  this  view,  and  it  was  natural  to  look  for  a 
political  motive  for  the  long  visit  paid  by  the  Duchess  of 
Lancaster  to  her  cousin  of  Castile  in  1388-9  2 

But  the  meeting  which  had  been  arranged  between 
John  of  Gaunt  and  Juan  of  Castile  on  the  frontier  never 
took  place  The  cause,  or  as  Lancaster  thought  the 
pretext,  was  the  King's  ill-health,  and  Constance  had 
other  interests  besides  those  of  policy  for  her  stay  in 
Castile.  There  was  a  sacred  duty  to  be  fulfilled  Going 
to  the  place  near  the  battlefield  of  Montiel,  where  nineteen 
years  ago  Don  Pedro  had  been  murdered  by  his  half- 
brother,  Constance  reverently  caused  the  remains  of  the 
last  monarch  of  the  House  of  Burgundy  to  be  gathered 
up  and  laid  in  the  burial  place  of  his  ancestors 

For  the  rest,  the  only  political  significance  of  her  visit 
was  to  promote  better  relations  between  Lancaster  and 
Castile,3  and  to  strengthen  the  position  of  the  Princess  of 
the  Astunas 

The  dynastic  quarrel  was  forgotten  in  the  interchange 

1  Notification  of  the  appointment  of  Lancaster  by  Richard  II 
to  treat  with  his  adversary  of  Castile,  dated  June  i,  1388    (Foed, 
VII  587-8)     Ratification  by  Juan  I  of  the  alliance  between  En 
rique  II  and  Charles  V,  dated  Segovia,  Nov  23 , i 386      (Foed,  VII 
550-1  )    On  Jan  3 ,  1 390,  at  the  instance  of  John  of  Gaunt,  envoys 
were  appointed  to  conclude  a  treaty  of  alliance,  or  peace,  or  truce 
with  Castile  (Foed,  VII  680-2)     This  was  followed  by  a  confir 
mation  by  Enrique  III  of  the  French  alliance  (dated  May  27, 1391 
Foed,  VII  700-1)     The  same  story  is  repeated  three  years  later 
On  April  17,  1393,  envoys  are  appointed  to  treat  with  Castile 
(Foed,  VII   739-40) ,  a  few  months  later  Enrique  again  confirms 
the  alliance  with  France     Foed,  VII  763 

3  For  the  visit  of  the  Duchess  of  Lancaster  to   Castile  see 
Ayala,  u  281 ,  Froissart,  K.  de  L.  xiu  302-4 

3  E  de  cada  dia  se  enviaban  sus  joyas,  6  sus  dones,  e  muy  buenas 
cart  as,  e  crescia  grand  amor  entre  ellos     Ayala,  u  281 



of  courtesies  between  the  Castilians  and  their  former 
enemies  To  the  King's  presents  of  Spanish  mules  and 
horses  Lancaster  replied  by  sending  to  his  rival  the  golden 
crown  which  he  had  brought  from  England  for  his  own 
coronation.  D^s  ahter  visum  The  Duke's  ambition  was 
realized  in  the  person  of  his  daughter 

Between  Katharine  of  Lancaster  and  her  half-sister 
the  Queen  of  Portugal  the  contrast  is  as  striking  as  that 
which  tradition  draws  between  their  husbands,  Enrique 
surnamed  El  Dolente,  a  grave  and  austere  man  of  few 
words,  but,  so  far  as  his  colourless  disposition  shows  him, 
of  good  intentions,  and  Joao,  soldier,  statesman,  man  of 
affairs,  a  man  of  vast  strength  with  a  full  measure  of 
virile  activity 

Katharine,  to  judge  by  the  portrait  in  the  fascinating 
gallery  of  Fernan  Perez  de  Guzman/  was  tall,  fair,  a 
Plantagenet  in  build  and  feature,  stately,  and  with  some 
thing  of  her  father's  haughtiness,  never  forgetful  of  her 
royal  ancestry,  as  is  shown  by  her  defiant  signature  "  Yo 
sin  ventura  reyna  "2 

The  worst  that  scandal  could  whisper  of  the  Queen  of 
Castile  was  a  fondness  for  wine  and  a  readiness  to  listen 
to  favourites  If  the  first  failing  was  responsible  for  the 
troubles  of  her  later  years  (she  died  of  paralysis),  the 
second  may  be  excused  by  her  early  difficulties,3  for  after 

1  Fue  esta  Reyna  (Dona  Catalina)  alta  de  cuerpo,  mucho 
gruesa,  blanca  e  colorada   e  rubia,  y  en  el  talle  y  meneo  del 
cuerpo  tanto  parecia  hombre  como  muger     rue  muy  honesta  e 
guardada  en  su  persona  e  fama,  e  liberal  e  magntfica,  pero  muy 
sometida  a  pnvados  e  regida  dellos 

No  era  bien  regida  en  su  persona  [Fertur  quod  temidenta  erat 
wither]  Ovo  una  gran  dolencia  de  perlesia  de  la  qual  no  quedo 
bien  suelta  de  la  lengua  m  libre  del  cuerpo  She  died  June  12, 
1418,  and  was  buned  at  Toledo  Gen&raciones  semblanzas  &  obras 
de  los  reyes  de  Espana  Fernan  Perez  de  Guzman,  Valencia,  1779, 
pp  582-4  The  author  was  Ayala's  nephew 

2  M  A  E  Wood,  Royal  Letters,  p  85 

3  It  would  be  interesting  to  trace  the  influence  of  Katharine, 
a  firm  adherent  of  the  canonical  Pope,  on  the  relations  of  Castile 



a  reign  of  six  years  Enrique  III  died  and  left  to  his  con 
sort  the  cares  of  a  minority  and  the  guardianship  of  their 
child  Juan  II,  the  first  of  a  long  line  of  Castilian  monarchs 
who  could  trace  their  ancestry  to  John  of  Gaunt. 

Devotion  was  the  feature  which  impressed  her  con 
temporaries  most  in  the  character  of  the  Queen  of  Por 
tugal,1  devotion  to  the  Church  and  the  daily  duties  of 
religion,  to  the  subjects  whose  love  she  won,  above  all 
to  the  large  family  of  sons  and  daughters  whom  she  bore 
to  the  King.  The  lesson  learnt  at  the  Savoy  was  remem 
bered  at  Lisbon,  and  Philippa's  sons  were  taught  to  add 
to  the  practice  of  arms  a  love  of  more  humane  pursuits. 
For  two  hundred  years  the  descendants  of  the  daughter 
of  John  of  Gaunt  ruled  Portugal ; 2  the  Lancastrian  alli 
ance,  which  had  synchronised  with  the  brilliant  opening 
of  a  new  chapter  of  national  life,  was  never  forgotten,  and 
the  dynastic  union  produced  others  besides  Prince  Henry 
the  Navigator  to  continue  the  Lancastrian  tradition  of 

to  the  Papacy  See  the  story  in  Ann  Ric  II  (p  162-4),  °f  an 
attempt  to  detach  her  from  the  cause,  and  the  mandate  to  Juan 
Guttierez,  Bishop  of  Dax  (Lancaster's  old  agent),  to  dispense 
Enrique  III  and  Katharine  being  related  m  the  third  degree,  to 
contract  marriage  anew  on  returning  to  obedience  of  the  Roman 
Church,  dated  8  Kal  Oct ,  2  Boniface  IX,  1391  Papal  Letters ,iv 
Cf  Raynaldi,  Annales  Ecclesiastic  (sub  anno  1391) 

1  Foy  a  Rainha  D  Fihppa  dotada  de  formosura  discricao,  e  de 
muita  piedade,  e  singular  modestia  de  sorte  que  o  seu  ordinano 
modo  de  andar  era  com  os  olhos  baixos,  e  o  rostro  cuberto  de 
hum  natural  pejo 

Phihppa  died  of  the  plague,  July  18,  1415        Sousa,  Histona 
Genealogica  da  Casa  Real  Portuguesa     Cf  Lopes,  v  128-130. 

2  In  the  British  Museum  there  is  a  series  of  vellum  tables 
(sixteenth  century)  elaborately  illuminated,  showing  the  descent 
of  the  royal  houses  of  Castile  and  Portugal  from  John  of  Gaunt, 
Ad  MS.  12,  531  (x  and  xi  ) 


Chapter  XIV 


"/""\NCE  upon  a  time  the  rats  and  mice,  persecuted 
\^/  incessantly  by  their  enemy  the  cat,  met  together 
in  parliament,  and  resolved  that  it  was  expedient  that  a 
bell  and  a  collar  should  be  bought  and  hung  round  the 
cat's  neck  to  signal  the  approach  of  danger  The  bell 
and  chain  were  procured,  but  when  the  time  came  no  one 
of  them  was  bold  enough  to  carry  out  the  plan." 

Langland  did  not  invent  the  fable  of  the  mice  who 
would  bell  the  cat,1  but  in  the  Vision  concerning  Piers  the 
Plowman  he  adds  a  touch  of  his  own,  for  in  his  version  of 
the  tale  a  certain  wise  mouse  points  out  that  a  cat  is  an 
inevitable  and  indeed  salutary  feature  of  the  constitu 
tion  :  if  the  cat  were  killed  another  would  take  its  place, 
and  better  an  old  cat  able  to  keep  the  rest  in  order  than 
a  kitten,  for  "  There  the  catte  is  a  ktttoun  the  courte  ts  fal 
elyng  " 

This  allegory,  which  the  poet  probably  meant  for  the 
events  of  1376,  though  he  says  that  he  dare  not  explain 
himself,  fits  the  circumstances  of  1386  equally  well 2 
The  Lancastrian  power,  which  Richard  regarded  with 
suspicion  and  Robert  de  Vere  with  hatred,  had  at  least 
imposed  a  check  on  the  forces  of  disorder  and  of  rival 
ambitions  ;  so  soon  as  the  check  was  removed,  the  struggle 
for  power  began,  and  Richard  learnt  to  his  cost  the  dtf- 

1  B  Prologue,  145-191 

3  See  M  Jusserand's  essay  L'£pop£e  Mystique  de  W  Langland, 

PP-  37-4<5< 



ference  in  character  between  his  eldest  and  youngest 

Thomas  of  Woodstock,  now  Duke  of  Gloucester,  was 
resolved  to  fill  the  place  left  vacant  by  his  elder  brother ; 
that  was  much,  but  Gloucester's  ambition  went  farther 
Lancaster's  position  was  merely  that  of  an  acknowledged 
primacy  exhibited  mainly  in  the  fields  of  war  and  diplo 
macy  ,  it  had  clashed  with  no  legal  or  constitutional 
principle,  and  at  least  in  the  last  few  years  it  had  been 
exercised  with  due  restraint.  Gloucester  however  aimed 
at  nothing  less  than  an  absolute  dictatorship,  which 
would  reduce  the  position  of  the  King  to  that  of  a  mere 
figurehead,  and  to  gain  his  end  he  had  courted  popularity 
and  rallied  all  the  forces  of  discontent,  social,  political 
and  religious 

Four  great  names  are  associated  for  a  while  with 
his,  those  of  Warwick,  Arundel,  Derby  and  Nottingham 
The  Earls  of  Warwick  and  Arundel  were  the  natural 
leaders  of  the  old  baronial  party ;  united  by  the  hatred 
of  royal  favourites,  bitter  enemies  not  only  of  Robert  de 
Vere  but  also  of  Richard  himself,  they  had  long  been  the 
centre  of  opposition  The  position  of  Henry,  Earl  of 
Derby,  was  different  During  the  next  three  years  he  is 
found  acting  with  Gloucester  in  opposition  to  Vere  and 
his  party,  but  never  going  to  extremes,  never  like  his 
unde  committing  himself  hopelessly  and  beyond  recall. 
He  is  among  the  leaders  of  the  opposition,  but  he  is  ready 
to  leave  them,  and  is  not  prepared  to  be  made  the  tool  of 
another  man's  ambition.  It  must  not  be  forgotten  that 
hi  spite  of  their  temporary  alliance,  Derby  and  Gloucester 
were  in  a  sense  rivals,  and  that  it  was  the  marriage  of 
Henry  and  Mary  de  Bohun  which  defeated  Gloucester's 
cherished  ambition  of  absorbing  the  whole  Bohun  inherit 
ance.  Thomas  Mowbray,  Earl  of  Nottingham,  the  fifth 
of  the  opposition  leaders,  was  a  man  of  no  principle, 
political  or  other,  a  shifty  time-server  ready  to  ally  himself 



with  any  party  for  the  interest  of  the  moment  In  1384 
and  1385  he  is  found  in  the  ranks  of  the  King's  favourites ; 
in  1386  he  ]oms  the  opposition,  but  is  ready  to  accept  a 
bribe  to  revert  to  his  old  allegiance. 

In  October,  1386,  Richard  made  the  favourite  Robert 
de  Vere,  already  Marquess  of  Dublin,  Duke  of  Ireland 
This  was  the  signal  for  hostilities.  Gloucester  declared 
war  and  opened  with  an  attack  on  the  King's  fnends 
and  ministers  The  Chancellor,  Michael  de  la  Pole,  Earl 
of  Suffolk,  and  the  Treasurer,  were  removed  from  office ; 
then  following  the  precedent  of  the  "  Good"  Parliament, 
a  baseless  charge  of  malversation  was  brought  forward 
to  rum  one  of  the  King's  ablest  ministers  It  was  in  vain 
that  Suffolk  disproved  the  charges  laid  against  him,  and 
that  another  of  the  moderate  or  Lancastnan  party, 
Richard  le  Scrope,  pleaded  on  his  behalf.  Judgment  was 
given  against  him  .  his  property  was  confiscated  and  he 
was  condemned  to  be  imprisoned  pending  payment  of 
an  exorbitant  fine  His  path  now  cleared,  Gloucester 
extorted  from  the  King  a  commission  of  regency  with 
himself  at  its  head,  and  at  the  age  of  twenty-one  Richard 
found  himself  once  more  a  child  in  tutelage,  with  less 
freedom  than  the  poorest  of  his  peers.  It  is  not  sur 
prising  that  he  rebelled  ,  he  released  the  Earl  of  Suffolk 
from  prison,  gathered  his  friends  about  him,  compelled 
the  judges  to  declare  the  commission  illegal,  and  prepared 
to  use  force.  An  unsuccessful  attempt  to  arrest  the  Earl 
of  Arundel  brought  about  the  crisis,  and  in  November, 
1387,  civil  war  seemed  inevitable  Once  more  Robert  de 
Vere  proved  to  be  Richard's  evil  genius  With  the  hated 
favourite  at  his  side  the  King  could  command  no  support 
and  proved  powerless  to  protect  his  friends.  Michael  de  la 
Pole  fled  to  France  and  died  there  a  year  later  ,  Robert 
de  Vere,  after  seeing  the  forces  which  he  had  raised  routed 
by  the  Earl  of  Derby,  followed  him  into  exile 

In  February,  1388,  the  "  Merciless"  Parliament  began  its 



bloody  work  Of  the  five  victims  arraigned  by  the  Lords 
Appellant  and  condemned  as  guilty  of  treason,  four,  Vere, 
de  la  Pole,  Neville  Archbishop  of  York  and  the  Chief 
Justice  Tresilian  were  beyond  their  reach  Nicholas 
Brambre  was  hanged,  but  one  death  could  not  satisfy 
Gloucester's  hatred  In  spite  of  the  protests  of  the  Earl  of 
Derby  he  hanged  Sir  John  Beauchamp,  Sir  James  Berners 
and  Sir  John  Salisbury,  and  in  an  evil  hour  for  himself 
refused  to  spare  Sir  Simon  Burley  who  had  been  the  King's 
tutor  and  was  one  of  his  dearest  friends 

For  a  year  Gloucester  retained  his  position,  but  the  coup 
d?etat  by  which  he  rose  to  power  was  not  more  sudden 
than  his  downfall  On  May  3,  1389,  Richard  declared 
himself  of  age,  dismissed  the  Chancellor  and  Treasurer, 
removed  the  Lords  Appellant,  and  in  a  manifesto  to  the 
country  declared  his  intention  of  ruling.  Gloucester, 
whose  violence  and  cruelty  had  alienated  all  moderate 
men,  taken  completely  by  surprise,  was  compelled  to 
submit.  How  long  he  would  have  acquiesced  in  political 
annihilation  is  another  matter,  but  Richard  by  his  next 
step  forestalled  the  possibility  of  another  council  of  re 
gency  and  sealed  Gloucester's  political  fate  for  good,  for 
he  recalled  the  Duke  of  Lancaster 

Preparations  for  the  Duke's  return  began  in  August  j1 
but  delay  only  increased  the  King's  impatience,  and  on 
October  30  a  formal  summons  to  return  either  by  sea  or 
land  was  despatched  to  the  Duke  at  Bordeaux  A 
courier  reported  to  the  Privy  Council  that  weighty 
matters  touching  the  custody  of  Aquitaine  had  pre 
vented  the  Duke  from  returning  as  he  had  hoped  to 
do  at  the  beginning  of  November  As  it  was,  he  pro 
posed  to  come  back  at  the  beginning  of  February ;  if, 
however,  the  King  required  his  presence  earlier  he  would 
obey  forthwith,  but  to  guard  himself  against  suspicion 

1  Mandate  to  sergeant-at-arms  to  collect  freightslnps,  cum  omm 
festmatione  possibih,  dated  August  n,  1389  Foedt  VII  641 



and  the  malice  of  enemies  he  requested  formal  sanction 
for  travelling  if  necessary  overland 

But  Richard,  fearing  some  act  of  violence  from 
Gloucester,  refused  to  wait  until  February ;  and  on 
November  19, 1389,  John  of  Gaunt  landed  at  Plymouth x 

On  December  10  there  was  to  be  a  meeting  of  the  Council 
at  Reading  r 2  as  Lancaster  rode  thither  he  was  met  two 
miles  from  the  town  by  the  King  Three  years  and  their 
bitter  expenences  had  worked  a  change  in  Richard's 
estimate  of  parties  and  their  leaders  :  the  man  whose 
departure  in  1386  he  had  welcomed  with  ill-concealed 
satisfaction  he  now  hailed  as  a  deliverer. 

The  Duke's  arrival  marks  the  beginning  of  a  new  era 
in  the  reign,  the  period  of  orderly  constitutional  govern 
ment,  which  like  the  qmnquenmum  Neroms  precedes  the 
troubles  of  the  last  years.  It  also  marks  a  new  era  in 
the  Duke's  life  Henceforth,  the  man  round  whom  the 
darkest  suspicions  had  gathered,  and  the  fiercest  party 
fights  had  raged,  appears  in  the  guise  of  a  peacemaker. 
His  first  act  is  symbolical  of  the  part  which  he  was  about  to 
play  to  the  King  and  to  each  of  his  suite  John  of  Gaunt 
gave  the  kiss  of  peace,  declaring  the  old  quarrels  for 
gotten  3 

Lancaster's  presence  worked  wonders  On  the  Council 
faction  suddenly  became  silent  In  Kent  and  Essex 
the  royal  ]ustices  had  been  guilty  of  injustice  and  oppres 
sion  under  colour  of  a  Court  of  Trailbaston  On  the 
Duke's  arrival,  we  are  told  by  an  authority  with  a  pro 
nounced  anti-Lancastrian  bias,  they  desisted. 

The  Church  and  the  City  showed  that  past  bitterness 
was  now  forgotten,  for  when  the  Duke,  escorted  by  peers 
and  courtiers,  rode  to  Westminster,  he  found  the  Mayor 
and  Sheriffs  vying  with  the  Abbot  and  Monks  of  West- 

1  Higd  ix   218      Rot  Pat   22  Ric   II,  part  u 

2  Privy  Council,  i   14  c     Delpit  Collection,  ccxcu 

3  Higd  ix  218  sqq 



minster  to  do  him  honour.  A  procession  of  the  clergy 
conducted  him  to  the  Abbey,  and  chanting  the  response 
Honor  mrtus  led  him  to  the  high  altar  The  Abbot 
preached,  and  the  Duke  made  his  offering,  and  then 
went  away  to  repeat  the  same  ceremony  at  St  Paul's 

The  same  spirit  of  compromise  and  moderation  marked 
the  conduct  of  all  parties  in  the  Parliament  *  which  met  at 
Westminster  in  January,  1390 

The  Chancellor  and  Treasurer  voluntarily  resigned  and 
demanded  a  scrutiny  of  their  tenure  of  office,  but  when 
Lancaster  the  next  day  in  the  King's  name  demanded  the 
opinion  of  the  Commons,  the  reply  amounted  to  an 
unhesitating  vote  of  confidence,  and  both  ministers  were 
restored  to  office  Richard  himself  set  an  example  of 
moderation  and  forbearance  He  discharged  his  Council 
and  reappomted  the  members,  with  the  addition  of  two 
names,  those  of  Lancaster  and  Gloucester  2  Assured  of 
the  support  of  his  eldest  uncle,  the  King  had  no  fear  of 
the  Lords  Appellant,  and  to  purchase  that  support  he  was 
prepared  to  pay  lavishly.  On  February  16  the  County 
Palatine  of  Lancaster  with  the  title  of  Duke,  which  John 
of  Gaunt,  like  Duke  Henry,  held  for  life  only,  was  granted 
to  him  and  his  heirs  mile  in  tail 3 

On  the  last  day  of  the  session  another  equally  striking 
proof  of  royal  favour  was  given.  Prominence  had  been 
given  in  the  Chancellor's  opening  speech  to  the  dangerous 
position  of  Aquitaine,  and  at  the  Council  of  Reading  *  the 
same  subject  had  been  discussed.  Despatches  had  then 

1  Summoned  by  wnt  dated  December  6,  13  Ric  II,  for  Monday 
after  St  Hilary  ,  it  sat  from  January  17  to  March  2  Rot  Parl 
in  257-76 

3  Lancaster  (with  York,  Gloucester  and  the  Chancellor)  was 
placed  a  little  later  on  the  committee  appointed  to  restrain 
Richard's  lavish  grants  Privy  Council,  March  8,  13  Ric  II, 

3  Hardy,  Charters,  xiv 

4  Privy  Council,  i,  17 



been  sent  to  the  south,  notifying  Lancaster's  return  and 
sanctioning  the  provisional  measures  proposed  by  him 
for  the  safety  of  the  King's  dominions.  At  the  same 
time  the  promise  had  been  given  that  in  the  forthcoming 
Parliament  measures  would  be  taken  "  for  the  governance 
of  Aquitaine,  the  comfort  of  the  King's  subjects  there 
and  the  honour  and  profit  of  the  Duchy  "  What  these 
measures  were  now  became  clear,  for  on  March  2,  by  the 
advice  and  with  the  assent  of  Peers  and  Commons  in 
Parliament  assembled,  the  King  created  John  of  Gaunt 
Duke  of  Aquitaine  for  life.1 

Had  the  grant  of  the  Duchy  of  Aquitaine  been  made 
half  a  dozen  years  earlier,  it  might  legitimately  have 
been  interpreted  as  evidence  of  the  King's  anxiety  to 
be  nd  of  his  uncle.  But  in  1390  John  of  Gaunt  was 
necessary  to  Richard's  peace  of  mind,  and  four  years 
were  to  elapse  before  he  could  be  spared  to  rule  his 
new  dominions  Those  four  years  were  devoted  to 
the  realization  of  his  cardinal  policy,  the  policy  of 
peace  with  France  The  rapprochement  which  a  decade 
before  the  Duke  had  desired  as  a  necessary  condition 
of  prosecuting  the  dynastic  quarrel  in  Spain,  he  now 
desired  as  a  consequence  of  the  settlement  If,  as  he 
had  reminded  Parliament  at  the  accession,  he  had 
interests  in  England  second  in  importance  to  those  of 
no  other  subject  of  the  Crown,  interests  which  would 
assuredly  be  imperilled  by  internal  troubles,  it  was 
equally  true  that  in  continental  Europe  he  had  given 
pledges  to  fortune,  which  might  be  forfeit  in  a  general 
disturbance  of  the  peace  Sensible  as  he  was  of  the 
necessity  of  peace  to  England,  it  was  inevitable  that 
Lancaster  should  find  his  views  on  foreign  policy  coloured 

1  FoedtVII  659-63      Rot  Parl  m  263   a    For  other  marks  of 
Richard's  favour  see  (i)a  grant  of  exemption  from  payment  of  fees 
in  Chancery  dated  February  8, 1391,  Foed,  VII  695  ,  (2)  grant  of 
exemption  from  import  duty  on  wine,  dated  May  30, 1392,  Foed 
VII  721 



by  his  own  dynastic  interests  Public  and  pnvate 
motives  therefore  combined  to  lead  him  to  devote  the  last 
vigorous  years  of  his  life  to  the  work  of  pacification  ,  and 
he  may  fairly  claim  the  credit  for  setting  on  foot  and 
leading  to  a  successful  conclusion  those  negotiations 
which  led  first  to  a  considerable  truce  and  finally  to  the 
entente  cordiale  of  1396,  when  the  King;  of  England  married 
a  daughter  of  France  and  the  Hundred  Years  War  was 
adjourned  sine  die 

In  the  Parliament  of  November,  isgi,1  the  Commons, 
assuming  an  unusual  degree  of  initiative,  gave  an  unhesi 
tating  expression  to  their  approval  of  the  peace  policy 
and  their  preference  for  the  Duke  as  ambassador,  and  for 
once  at  least  John  of  Gaunt  found  himself  singled  out  as  a 
popular  and  trusted  minister  "  If,"  said  the  Commons, 
"  there  should  be  negotiations  for  a  peace  or  a  truce 
between  our  Lord  the  King  and  his  adversary  of  France, 
it  seemed  expedient  and  necessary,  if  it  pleased  the 
King,  that  Monseigneur  de  Guyenne  (the  title  of  Mon- 
seigneur  d'Espaigne  was  obselete)  should  proceed  to  such 
negotiations,  he  being  the  most  sufficient  person  of  the 
realm,"  and  when  the  King  had  concurred,  and  asked 
the  Duke  if  he  were  willing  to  go,  Monseigneur  de 
Guyenne  replied  that  "he  would  very  willingly  under 
take  the  work,  and  labour  for  the  honour  and  profit  of 
the  King  and  kingdom  " 

Peculiar  qualifications  fitted  Lancaster  for  the  duty 
of  representing  England  at  foreign  Courts,  That  grand 
manner,  which  to  some  of  his  fellow  countrymen  passed 
for  haughtiness,  made  a  favourable  impression  abroad : 
it  covered  a  thorough  knowledge  of  international  relations 
resulting  from  a  long  and  varied  experience.  In  1392, 
when  negotiations  began,  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  was  a 

1  Rot  ParL  iii  284-99  Parliament  was  summoned  by  wnt 
dated  September  7,  15  Ric  II,  for  the  day  after  All  Saints,  and 
sat  from  November  3  to  December  2,  1391, 



personage  of  international  importance.  One  son-in-law 
was  King  of  Portugal;  another  was  King  of  Castile 
The  Duke  felt  the  power  given  him  by  his  family  alliances, 
a  power  which  a  generation  later  was  to  prove  invaluable 
to  his  son,  Cardinal  Beaufort,  m  his  capacity  of  foreign 
minister  He  knew  and  was  personally  known  to  nearly 
all  the  potentates  of  Western  Europe  ,  the  Dukes  of 
Bern  and  Burgundy,  the  King  of  Navarre,  the  Duke  of 
Brittany  and  the  Count  of  Foix,  the  Scottish  Earls  and  the 
princes  of  the  Low  Countries — all  at  one  time  or  another 
had  met  him  in  battle  or  diplomacy.  In  an  age  when 
the  personal  character  of  rulers  was  a  matter  of  the  first 
importance  in  determining  policy,  John  of  Gaunt,  unlike 
his  untravelled  nephew,  had  the  power  which  comes  from 
knowing  men  ;  in  an  age  when  chivalry,  hardening  into 
caste,  was  tending  to  override  with  its  own  distinctions 
those  of  race  and  nation,  Lancaster  was  the  best  known 
citizen  of  the  world  of  chivalry,  and  it  was  Lancaster 
Herald  who  proclaimed  the  ]  ousts  of  St  Ingelvert,  where 
Sir  Regnault  de  Roye  and  the  Marshal  Boucicault  threw 
down  their  challenge  to  Europe  and  where  the  Earl  of 
Derby  and  Sir  John  Beaufort  maintained  the  honour  of 
England  and  the  Lancastrian  name 1 

When,  therefore,  Lancaster  took  up  again  in  1392  the 
task  of  negotiation  which  as  a  younger  son  of  Edward  III 
he  had  first  attempted  in  1364,  his  own  position  was 
vastly  different ;  the  conditions  of  politics  had  undergone 
a  change  equally  decisive 

The  peace  policy  had  first  appeared  at  Bruges  in  1374, 
after  five  years'  continuous  fighting  and  on  the  morrow 
of  a  disastrous  campaign,  when  England,  disappointed  of 
victory,  considered  herself  defrauded  of  that  which  she 
had  a  nght  to  expect.  In  1392  most  men,  though  not 
all,  had  outgrown  the  illusions  of  the  war,  and  Parliament 

1  Lwre  des  faits  de  Jean  BouciquaMtt  I  xvi  „  Pierre  (TOrge 
mont,  73  t  Chr  Reg  Franc,  in.  97, 



was  ready  to  welcome  a  definite  settlement  In  France, 
too,  the  obstacles  to  peace  had  been  one  after  another 
removed  While  Lancaster  threatened  the  dynastic 
policy  of  the  Duke  of  Burgundy,  first  by  attempting  to 
secure  the  hand  of  the  Duchess  Margaret  for  Edmund 
of  Langley,  later  by  proposing  the  hand  of  Philippa  of 
Lancaster  for  William  Count  of  Ostrevant,  heir  of  Albert 
of  Wittelsbach,  Philip  the  Bold  had  remained  committed 
to  hostilities  with  England.  But  now  the  Burgundian 
alliances  with  the  princes  of  Southern  Germany  and  the 
Low  Countries  were  complete,  and  for  the  moment  at 
least  the  Burgundian  supremacy  was  in  abeyance. 

When  therefore  Lancaster  landed  at  Calais  in  March, 
1392,  there  was  every  prospect  of  arriving  at  an  under 
standing  *  He  had  taken  care  that  his  colleagues  should  be, 
like  himself,  chosen  from  the  peace  party ,  they  were  the 
Duke  of  York,  the  Earls  of  Derby  and  Huntingdon,  and 
Sir  Thomas  Percy  There  was  no  dissentient  like  the 
Duke  of  Gloucester,  who  tried  to  wreck  the  success  of  the 
later  negotiations.  The  French  had  expected  Richard  II 
to  come  over  in  person;  but  after  accompanying  the  envoys 
to  Dover,  the  King  returned  to  Westminster  No  wel 
come,  however,  could  have  been  more  royal  than  that 
accorded  to  John  of  Gaunt,  for  the  French  king  treated 
him  with  marked  deference,  and  showed  every  possible 
courtesy  to  his  suite  a 

1  For  the  negotiations  at  Amiens  see  Rehg  Si  Denys,  i  735  , 
Chr  Reg  Franc  ui  102-4  ,  Wals  u  205-6 ,  Higd  ix  265  , 
Kn  ,  11.  318,  Ypod  Neust  392,  Cronyhil  of  Scotland,  n  56, 
Froissart,  K.  de  L.  xv  79-82,  etc  Lancaster  landed  at  Calais  on 
March  n,  1392,  and  returned  between  April  8  and  22  The  truce 
was  signed  at  Amiens  on  April  8  Bnt.  Mus  Add  Ch  n,  310 
Lancaster's  powers  are  dated  February  22,  Foed,  VII,  710-11 
and  the  prolongation  of  the  truce  was  confirmed  May  5 ,  Foed, 
VII  714-22. 

3  Ipse  rex  (Charles  VI)  venit  ei  obviam,  salutans  eum  et 
praenonunans  digmssimam  personam  militae  totius  chnstiarntatia 
regah  digmtate  inuncta  solummodo  excepta  (Kn  u.  318) 



Throughout  their  visit  the  envoys  were  treated  as 
guests  of  the  French  nation,  and  their  entertainment  cost 
as  much  as  a  campaign.  On  reaching  Amiens  every 
knight  of  the  Duke's  retinue  found  his  arms  painted  on 
the  door  of  his  lodging,  that  he  might  have  no  difficulty  m 
finding  it  No  mnkepeer  was  allowed  to  take  money 
from  any  of  the  Duke's  suite  Every  precaution  that 
could  be  devised  was  put  into  effect  to  prevent  unplea 
santness.  Brawling  was  forbidden  on  pain  of  death :  no 
French  gentleman  was  allowed  to  go  out  at  night  without 
lights,  and  the  streets  of  the  town  were  patrolled  by  a 
body  of  4,000  watchmen,  while  the  King's  forethought 
even  went  the  length  of  improvising  a  fire-brigade. 

From  the  day  the  Duke  left  English  territory  the 
attentions  began  From  Calais  x  the  Count  of  St  Pol 
escorted  Lancaster  and  his  suite,  which  numbered  a 
thousand  horsemen,  through  the  lands  which  he  had 
harried  in  days  gone  by,  to  St,  Riquier  and  Doullens 
On  Monday,  March  25,  Charles,  with  a  stately  retinue, 
lords  spiritual  and  temporal,  knights  and  men-at-arms, 
made  his  entry  into  Amiens  ,  simultaneously  Lancaster 
rode  into  the  city  from  Doullens  under  the  escort  of 
the  "  Princes  des  fleurs  de  lys." 

When  his  hosts  of  ered  to  lead  him  to  his  lodging  the 
Duke  refused,  insisting  on  being  taken  immediately  to 
the  King.  Charles  received  him  in  the  Archbishop's 
palace,  and  the  interview  over,  Lancaster  was  conducted 
to  Malmaison,2  where  he  was  to  stay.  The  next  day  at 
a  state  banquet  the  Duke  found  himself  seated  at  the 
King's  right  hand,  and  served  by  the  Dukes  of  Orleans 

Cums  adventui  Rex  Franciae  non  minora  paran  fecit  quam  pro 
adventu  imperatons   cujusque  maximi   providisset      Wals    n. 


1  It  was  then  that  the  Duke  built  Lancaster's  new  tower  at 
Calais     Archaeologia,  ui   250  note 

2  For  Malmaison  in  the  fourteenth  century,  see  Chr  Reg  Franc 
n  12  (note). 



and  Bourbon,    So  far  as  ceremonial  could  smooth  the 
way  to  peace,  the  path  was  clear. 

But  when  business  began  it  became  clear  that  the 
political  situation  was  not  yet  ripe  for  a  permanent  peace 
Both  sides  opened  discussion  with  extravagant  and 
unpractical  proposals.  The  French  demanded  that 
Calais  should  be  evacuated  and  its  fortifications  razed 
to  the  ground,  a  proposal  to  which  Lancaster  returned 
a  curt  non  possumus  On  the  other  hand  Lancaster  put 
forward  the  claim,  out  of  date  in  1384,  but  absurd  in  1392, 
to  the  balance  of  King  John's  lansom,  and  a  reversion  to 
the  status  quo  of  Br6tigm.  All  this  was,  perhaps,  a  matter 
of  form,  for  envoys  were  bound  by  the  diplomatic  tradi 
tions  of  the  age.  But,  on  the  English  side,  there  were 
reasons  of  policy  for  haggling  Though  Parliament  was 
weary  if  not  of  the  war  at  least  of  a  succession  of  war 
budgets,  there  was  a  formidable  party  who  did  not  want 
to  see  the  doors  of  France  and  campaigning  closed  for 
good,  Lancaster  in  Amiens  had  Westminster  in  mind ,  it 
was  necessary  to  go  warily  ahead  and  not  to  give  colour  to 
the  charge  actually  preferred  later,  that  by  unduly  favour 
able  terms  he  was  sacrificing  the  rights  of  the  Crown  and 
the  interests  of  England.  Apart  however  from  the  large 
question  of  peace  there  was  no  difficulty  Both  sides 
readily  agreed  to  a  truce  and  consented  that  the  existing 
truce  should  hold  good  for  twelve  months  more.  A  year 
had  been  won  in  which  to  work  for  the  end  of  peace,  and 
the  Duke  had  made  a  great  impression. 

He  returned  to  England  in  the  middle  of  April  and  a 
month  later  laid  the  results  of  his  embassy  before  an 
extraordinary  meeting  of  the  Council  at  Stamford,  to 
which  a  number  of  peers  and  representatives  of  the 
counties  and  boroughs  had  been  summoned.  This  little 
parliament  approved  the  Duke's  policy,  and  the  King 
formally  ratified  the  truce  *  In  the  spring  of  1393  the 
1  Kn  11  318-9  Higd  ix  265-7 












same  story  was  repeated,  the  scene  of  negotiations  being 
moved  to  the  old  rendezvous,  Ldinghen,  whither  the 
French  Commissioners  repaired  from  Boulogne  and  the 
English  from  Calais/  Again  the  envoys  had  to  content 
themselves  with  a  prolongation  of  the  truce  : 2  any  con 
sideration  of  the  larger  issue  was  postponed  by  the  King's 
illness,  for  in  August  of  the  previous  year  Charles  had 
lost  his  reason,  and  for  the  rest  of  his  reign  he  was  liable 
to  intermittent  fits  of  madness  which  effectually  hindered 
the  treatment  of  serious  affairs, 

To  Lancaster  this  interruption  was  a  disappointment,3 
but  he  stuck  to  the  work,  and  when  he  met  the  French 
envoys  at  Ldinghen  in  the  spring  of  1394  the  end  was  well 
in  sight 4  The  first  thing  was  to  lemove  sources  of  mis 
understanding,  one  of  which  lay  in  the  difficulty  of 
language.  It  is  scarcely  surprising  that  the  official  lan 
guage  which  passed  for  French  in  formal  documents 
puzzled  the  French  ambassadors,  while  the  English  com 
plained  of  not  being  able  to  follow  discussion  in  what  was 
fast  becoming  a  foreign  tongue  To  clear  the  path 
towards  mutual  understanding,  it  was  agreed  that  all 
proposals  should  be  wiitten  down  and  presented  m  the 
form  of  a  verbal  note.  A  more  serious  stumbling-block 
was  found  in  the  presence  of  the  Cardinal  of  Luna,  a 

1  It  was  in  April,  1 393 ,  at  Boulogne  that  the  Duke  of  Burgundy 
gave  the  Duke  of  Lancaster  some  tapestry  hangings  pcmrtraymg 
the  history  of  Clovis    It^nera^res  de  Philippe  U  Hardi,  547  (note). 

2  For  the  second  period  of   negotiation  see  Higd   ix    280  ; 
Kn  11  321 ,  Wals.  11  213  ,  Ann  Rw  II,  157  ,  Froissart,  K   de  L! 
xv   108-12,  116-9,  123-4,  Cont  Eulog  369,  Foed,VII   737-9, 
74 1 ,  748-9     On  April  28  the  truce  was  prolonged  till  September 
29,    1394     Lancaster  and  Gloucester  received  further  powers 
September  12 }  1393      Ibid  752-3 

5  Froissart,  K  de  L   xvii    52 

4  For  the  final  negotiations  see  Wals    u    214;   Kn   n    321 
Higd  ix  282 ,  Ann  Ric  n   168  ' 

Lancaster's  powers  are  dated  March  10,  1394,  he  left  for 
France  soon  after  and  returned  about  June  24  Peace  was  signed 
at  Ldinghen  May  24,  1394  Foed,  VII  775  ,  Rot  Franc  n  170 



truculent  Spaniard  who  had  taken  upon  himself  the  task 
of  representing  Clement  VII,  and  was  trying  to  extort 
recognition  of  his  master  from  the  English  Commissioners 

On  the  papal  question  John  of  Gaunt  was  sound  He 
would  not  palter  with  the  claims  of  the  canonical  Pope, 
and  refused  to  begin  negotiations  until  the  Cardinal  was 
removed,  After  that  all  went  well.  A  fortnight's  dis 
cussion  brought  the  envoys  within  reach  of  an  understand 
ing  and  they  separated  to  communicate  with  their 
Governments,  Meanwhile  the  terms  were  not  divulged  , 
even  Froissart,  who  was  present,  failed  to  discover  their 
exact  import,  though  m  spite  of  official  reticence  he 
had  got  enough  information  to  persuade  him  of  the 
existence  of  a  secret  treaty.  When  the  envoys  met 
again  they  found  themselves  in  agreement ;  on  May  27 
a  truce  for  four  years  was  concluded  between  France  and 
England,  At  length  the  great  war  seemed  at  an  end,  for 
before  the  expiration  of  the  truce  of  Lelmghen  England 
had  drawn  still  closer  to  France,  Richard  had  married 
the  daughter  of  his  adversary,  and  the  stmggle  of  Valois 
and  Plantagenet  for  the  crown  of  the  fteurs-de-lys  was 
forgotten  for  a  generation 

More  difficult  however  than  the  task  of  leconcilmg 
Richard  II  with  his  adversary  of  France,  was  that  of 
maintaining  peace  and  order  among  the  King's  subjects 
The  interludes  between  negotiations  in  France  were  spent 
by  the  Duke  in  attempting  to  compose  political  factions, 
personal  quarrels  and  popular  discontent. 

For  half  a  dozen  years  successive  Parliaments  had 
called  attention  to  the  dangeious  state  of  anarchy  pre 
vailing  in  many  parts  of  England  It  was  an  almost 
daily  occurrence  for  leaders  of  armed  bands  to  dispossess 
tenants  of  their  property,  carry  off  and  put  to  ransom 
their  wives  and  heirs,  and  forcibly  marry  their  heiresses. 
It  is  significant  of  the  general  disorder,  which  was,  how 
ever,  worst  in  the  north,  that  one  of  Lancaster's  first 



proclamations  as  Count  Palatine  had  been  to  prohibit  the 
gathering  of  armed  men  to  hinder  the  sessions  of  the 
justices  in  Lancaster. 

This  state  of  anarchy,  the  result  of  weak  administra 
tion  rather  than  of  unwise  laws,  long  since  chrome  m 
England,  had  become  acute  in  the  summer  of  1393 

An  insurrection,  which  threatened  to  become  formid 
able,  broke  out  in  the  northern  counties  in  the  spring  of 
that  year 1  Beginning  m  Chester  it  spread  across  the 
County  Palatine  to  Yorkshire,  and  assumed  such  danger 
ous  proportions  that,  according  to  popular  belief,  there 
were  at  one  time  as  many  as  twenty  thousand  malcon 
tents  under  arms 

The  objects  and  the  origins  of  the  discontent  are  con 
fused  and  obscure,  Once  more  political  issues  are  mixed 
up  with  personal  feuds.  The  men  of  the  royal  palatinate 
of  Chester,  the  most  disordeily  county  m  England,  were 
led  to  believe  that  their  liberties  were  being  threatened. 
Some  said  that  the  Dukes  of  Lancaster  and  Gloucester 
were  attempting  to  deprive  the  King  of  his  right  to  France 
and  to  dispossess  him  of  the  Palatinate  In  Yorkshire 
disorder  turned  on  a  local  feud  between  Sir  Robert 
Rokeby  and  William  Beckwith,  who,  having  slam  his 
enemy,  fled  from  justice,  and,  like  the  "tough-belted 
outlaw  "  of  Sherwood  Forest,  gathering  his  friends  about 
him  in  the  forests,  bid  defiance  to  the  law.  It  is 
clear  that  in  some  quarters  the  intention  was  to  kill 
Lancaster  and  Derby,  but  the  relation  of  Gloucester  and 
Arundel,  whose  names  were  mentioned  in  connexion  with 
the  disturbance,  to  the  rebels  and  their  plans  must  remain 
a  mystery  There  was  a  rumour  that  Arundel  had 

1  For  the  Cheshire  rising  and  the  "  famosa  discordia  "  of  Lan 
caster  and  Arundel  with  which  it  is  connected  see  Rot  Parl   111 
309-23  ,    Ann    Ric    II }  159-62,    166    (a   strongly  Lancastrian 
account) ,  Wals  li   214  ,  Higd  ,  ix  239-40,  265,  281,    Malverne 
is  usually  most  accurate  in  dates,  but  here  he  seems  to  be  wrong 



organized  the  disorder  and  that  Gloucester  was  secretly 
aiding  his  designs  ,  it  is  probable,  though  the  evidence  is 
insufficient  to  prove  the  case.  On  the  other  hand,  when 
the  day  of  reckoning  came  Gloucester  and  Lancaster  are 
found  side  by  side,  and  Arundel  was  never  formally 
charged  with  complicity.  The  distribution  of  inflam 
matory  placards  denouncing  Lancaster,  which  were 
posted  on  the  doors  of  every  parish  church  in  the  dis 
affected  districts,  proves  that  the  disturbance  was  care 
fully  organized  by  certain  mischief-makers  who  were  bent 
on  fishing  for  themselves  or  their  party  in  troubled 
waters  So  far  as  can  be  seen,  these  mischief-makers 
belonged  to  the  war  party,  who  were  infuriated  by  Lan 
caster's  foreign  policy,  and  the  old  opposition  of  1386 

As  usual,  a  political  motif  allowed  the  development  of 
other  sub-plots  m  the  drama  Political  or  social  griev 
ances  were  made  the  colour  for  a  general  disturbance,  in 
which  private  hatreds  and  greed  of  plunder  had  free  play, 

It  was  to  meet  this  situation  that  Lancaster  hastily 
left  the  French  Commissioners  in  the  summer  of  1393,  for 
the  King,  who  had  allowed  the  evil  to  grow  unchecked 
in  his  absence,  had  placed  his  uncle  at  the  head  of  a 
special  commission  of  royal  justices 

Lancaster  went  first  to  Yorkshire,  where  the  disorder 
had  grown  round  the  outlaw  Beckwith  and  his  adherents, 
and  contrary  to  the  expectations  of  his  enemies,  set 
himself  to  work  cautiously  and  m  a  moderate  spirit. 
Having  succeeded  m  dispelling  suspicions  as  to  his  own 
conduct,  he  restored  order  in  the  districts  where  his 
territorial  power  lay,  and  then  turned  westwards  toward 
the  dangerous  palatinate  of  Chester  For  once  at  least 
the  Duke  seized  the  leading  feature  of  a  political  situation 
Social  and  economic  causes  were  largely  responsible  for 
the  unrest  Since  the  era  of  truces  with  France  there 
were  a  large  number  of  disbanded  soldiers  in  England,  men 
without  means  of  subsistence  and  unfitted  for  civil 



employment  The  Duke  enrolled  them  for  service  in 
Aquitame,  whither  he  intended  soon  to  proceed.  A  few 
ringleaders  were  arrested  for  trial.  Most  were  suffered  to 
go.  The  disorder  collapsed,  and  Lancaster  returned  to 
the  south  with  the  news  that  his  mission  had  accomplished 
its  end  and  that  order  was  restored. 

The  relation  of  Arundel  to  the  episode  had  not  been 
cleared  up  Arundel  and  Lancaster,  friends  in  the 
seventies,  had  long  since  drifted  apart  The  Earl  de 
spised  the  peace  policy  and  was  jealous  of  the  Duke's 
influence  with  the  King  He  feared  too,  and  as  it 
proved  not  without  reason,  that  Richard  had  never  for 
given  him  for  his  part  in  the  events  of  1386 

When  Parliament  opened  in  January,  1394,  Arundel 
determined  to  forestall  an  attack.  He  had  watched  the 
young  King's  temper,  and  knew  his  fickleness  of  character. 
If  he  could  succeed  in  doing  what  Robert  de  Vere  had 
only  ]ust  failed  to  do  at  the  Salisbury  Parliament  ten 
years  before,  and  destroy  the  confidence  of  the  King  in 
his  uncle,  there  might  be  another  deal  in  the  game,  and 
his  own  hand  might  be  stronger.  Political  annihilation 
was  little  to  his  taste ,  however,  if  he  were  going  to  be 
brought  to  book  for  the  events  of  the  summer  it  might 
go  hard  with  him,  So  he  chose  the  bold  course  and 
struck  the  first  blow 

So  soon  as  the  Chancellor  had  declared  the  causes  of 
the  summons  of  Parliament  aind  the  usual  business  of 
appointing  receivers  and  triers  of  petitions  had  been 
got  through,  the  Earl  rose  and  declared  that  there  were 
certain  matters  touching  the  honour  and  profit  of  King 
and  kingdom  so  nearly  that  his  conscience  did  not  suffer 
him  to  be  silent  His  indictment  of  Lancaster  and 
his  policy,  was  comprised  in  six  articles.  It  was 
contrary  to  the  King's  honour,  firstly,  that  his  uncle  the 
Duke  of  Guyenne  and  Lancaster  should  be  seen  constantly 
walking  hand  in  hand  and  arm  in  arm  with  the  King ; 



secondly,  that  the  King  should  wear  round  his  neck 
the  Duke's  "  livery  "  ,  thirdly,  that  the  King's  retainers 
should  wear  the  same  livery ,  fourthly,  the  Duke  in 
Council  and  in  Parliament  was  in  the  habit  of  using  such 
"  rough  and  bitter  words/'  that  he,  the  Earl,  and  others, 
often  dare  not  fully  declare  their  intent ,  fifthly,  it 
was  greatly  to  the  King's  disadvantage  that  he  had 
granted  to  his  uncle  the  Duchy  of  Aqmtame  ,  sixthly, 
the  King  had  squandered  the  resources  of  the  kingdom  on 
his  uncle's  crusade  against  Castile 

The  challenge  was  made  and  the  Earl  hopelessly  com 
promised  He  expected  considerable  support  among 
Peers  and  Commons  ,  as  it  proved  he  was  disappointed, 
for  no  one  followed  up  the  attack, 

The  first  three  articles  were  calculated  to  catch  popular 
favour,  and  revive  the  old  cry  against  "  livery  and  main 
tenance  "  But  things  had  changed  since  the  days  of  the 
"  Good"  Parliament,  when  the  Duke's  retainers  had  been 
glad  to  hide  their  livery  from  the  London  mob,  and  the 
political  war  cries  of  1376  did  not  fit  the  circumstances 
of  1394  Again,  in  the  hot  days  of  Lancaster's  youth 
the  charge  contained  in  the  fourth  article  might  have 
struck  home  Had  not  John  of  Gaunt  cursed  Bishop 
Courtenay  in  Saint  Paul's,  and  offered  to  ride  to  London 
and  drag  the  Bishop  to  Windsor  in  spite  of  the  "  ribald 
knaves "  of  London  ?  But  that,  too,  belonged  to 
the  past,  and  years  had  calmed  the  Duke's  passions 
and  taught  him  the  lesson  of  restraint  and  caution  The 
fifth  article  was  a  skilful  attack  The  grant  of  the  Duchy 
of  Aquitame  was  unpopular,  as  will  be  seen,  in  the  duchy 
itself,  and  there  was  a  large  party  in  England  also  who 
feared  the  results  of  the  grant  on  Gascon  loyalty  and 
viewed  with  the  utmost  jealousy  any  further  alienation 
of  lands  and  honours  by  the  Crown 

But  Arundel  had  saved  his  strongest  point  till  the  end 
The  invasion  of  Castile  had  wrecked  an  English  army, 



without  appreciably  altering  the  political  situation.  The 
Commons  cared  very  little  whether  or  not  Philippa  of 
Lancaster  were  Queen  of  Portugal,  or  whether  Katharine 
secured  the  reversion  of  Don  Pedro's  throne,  If  the  Duke 
chose  to  prosecute  his  dynastic  ambitions,  at  least  he 
might  be  made  to  pay  for  them,  and  the  party  for 
economy  might  well  hold  that  the  treasure  which  was 
being  poured  over  the  Pyrenees  into  the  Duke's  coffers 
at  Bordeaux  ought  to  be  called  on  to  pay  the  cost  of  the 
Spanish  crusade 

There  was,  doubtless,  still  a  party  in  the  Commons  and 
a  smaller  one  in  the  Lords  who,  for  personal  or  political 
reasons,  retained  the  old  jealousy  of  Lancastrian  influence, 
but  Arundel  had  miscalculated  the  strength  of  political 
forces  Lancaster  had  outlived  his  unpopularity  The 
old  anti-Wycliffe  feeling  among  clergy  and  laity  was 
useless  in  1394  to  the  enemies  of  the  Lancastrian  power. 
The  country,  too,  was  tired  of  the  Lords  Appellant,  and 
since  Richard's  assumption  of  power  had  welcomed  a 
period  of  orderly  government.  Consequently  the  Earl's 
manifesto  fell  flat ,  he  failed  to  fan  into  flame  the  embers 
of  the  King's  jealousy  or  to  touch  his  pride  by  this  skilful 
attempt  to  represent  him  as  still  in  the  tutelage  of  his 

In  reply  to  the  indictment,  the  King  presented  a  formal 
answer,  taking  the  Earl's  points  one  by  one. 

If  the  King  walked  arm  in  arm  with  the  Duke  of  Lan 
caster,  that  was  only  what  he  did  habitually  in  the  case  of 
his  other  uncles.  As  for  the  livery,  in  point  of  fact  on 
Lancaster's  return  from  Spain  he  had  himself  taken  the 
collar  from  his  uncle's  neck,  and  worn  it  "  en  signe  de 
bon  amour  Rentier  cor  entre  eux"  and  if  his  retainers  did 
the  same  it  was  by  the  royal  command  He  denied  that 
Lancaster  had  ever  overborne  any  member  of  the  Council 
in  his  hearing  ;  it  was  open  to  the  Earl  as  to  the  rest  to 
speak  their  will. 



The  grant  of  the  Duchy  of  Guyenne  had  been  made 
with  the  assent  of  the  estates  in  Parliament  assembled. 
Of  the  cost  of  the  army  in  Spam,  200,000  marcs  had  been 
voted  freely  by  the  Commons  ,  the  other  half  was  a  loan 
for  which  the  Duke  acknowledged  his  liability  and  which 
he  had  offered  to  repay ;  in  consideration,  however,  of 
the  relief  of  Brest  and  other  expeditions  in  the  King's 
service  for  which  he  had  not  received  payment  m  full,  this 
sum,  with  the  consent  of  Parliament,  had  been  remitted. 

As  for  the  negotiations  with  France,  Lancaster,  like 
the  other  envoys,  had  merely  carried  out  his  instructions 
He  had  laid  the  result  before  the  Council ;  Council  and 
Parliament  had  been  free  to  accept  or  re]ect  the  terms, 
and  it  had  been  open  to  Arundel  with  the  rest  to  criticise 
the  policy 

The  indictment  and  the  King's  reply  were  examined 
by  Parliament.  Opinion  was  unanimous  that  Lancaster 
was  free  and  quit  of  any  blame. 

The  vote  of  censure  was  defeated  Asked  if  he  had 
anything  further  to  say,  the  Earl  replied  in  the  negative 
Thereupon  the  King,  with  the  assent  of  Parliament, 
ordered  the  Earl  to  apologize.  There  was  no  choice  but 
to  obey  Addressing  the  Duke  of  Lancaster,  Arundel 
repeated  these  words  .  "  Sire,  sith  that  hit  semeth  to  the 
Kyng  and  to  the  other  lordes,  and  eke  that  yhe  ben  so 
mychel  greved  and  displeisid  be  my  wordes,  hit  for- 
thynketh  me,  and  byseche  yowe  of  your  gode  lordship 
to  remyt  me  your  mautalent."  *  Whether  or  no  John  of 
Gaunt  carried  the  duty  of  forgiveness  to  the  extent  of 
"  remitting  his  mautalent"  entirely  may  be  questioned 
in  the  light  of  events  which  happened  two  years  later. 
Nothing  had  been  said  officially  of  ArundePs  share  in  the 
northern  rising  ;  and  the  matter  was  allowed  to  drop. 
Arundel  retired  from  the  Council  for  a  time,  and  the  Duke, 
having  quieted  the  rising  in  the  north  and  won  a  victory 

1  Rot.  Parl  III,  3 14  a. 


over  the  opposition,  went  back  to  France  to  finish  the 
business  of  peace-making, 

It  was  at  the  time  of  his  departure  for  the  final  nego 
tiations  in  France  that  John  of  Gaunt  lost  his  second 
wife  Constance  of  Castile  died  on  March  24,  I394.1 

By  a  strange  fatality  Lancaster,  the  King  and  the  Earl 
of  Derby  all  became  widowers  m  the  same  year,  for 
within  a  few  weeks  of  the  death  of  the  Duchess  of  Lan 
caster,  Queen  Anne  and  Mary  Countess  of  Derby  passed 
away.  Of  the  two  daughters  of  Pedro  the  Cruel  contem 
porary  annalists  have  little  to  say ;  only  enough  to 
point  a  contrast  between  Constance,  a  pattern  of  orderly 
and  devout  living,  and  her  worldly  and  UglYt  sister,  the 
Duchess  of  York,3  who  did  not  pass  unscathed  among 
the  ladies  of  Richard's  luxurious  Court. 

The  silence  of  the  chronicles  is  not  broken  by  Chaucer's 
verse.  A  threnody  on  Constance  of  Castile  could  not 
have  breathed  the  same  evident  sincerity  as  the  lament 
for  Blanche  of  Lancaster  ;  the  tie  which  bound  John  of 
Gaunt  to  his  second  wife  was  too  obviously  the  result 
of  political  convenience,  and  when  death  loosed  it,  the 
poet  had  no  graceful  and  touching  memorial  to  raise  to 
the  second  Duchess  of  Lancaster.  Half  her  life,  a  life  of 
exile,  had  been  spent  in  England,  but  she  had  never 
identified  herself  with  the  country  of  her  adoption  and 
left  no  impress  upon  the  life  of  the  Court.  From  the  first 
she  had  had  a  rival ;  it  must  have  been  difficult  for  her, 
even  allowing  for  a  different  standard  of  taste  in  such 
matters,  to  do  the  honours  of  the  Lancastrian  household, 
while  every  one  paid  court  to  the  Duke's  mistress,  and 
Katharine  Swynford's  position  was  openly  acknow- 

1  A  fairly  certain  inference  from  the  date  of  the  obit      See 
Will   p.  429,    Higd  ix.    283,  "who  says  March  25      Kn  11  321 
Ann  Rtc.  II,  168  ,  Wals.  u,  214. 

a  Isabella  died  m  1392  (Higd  ix  278),  not  1394,  as  most  of 
the  chronicles  have  it.    Her  will  was  proved  January  6,  1392 
Test   Vet   135 




ledged  not  only  at  the  Savoy  or  Hertford,  but  at  the 
State  ceremonies  of  Westminster  and  Windsor 1 

Constance  remained  Castilian  at  heart  ,  her  strongest 
feelings  were  those  of  attachment  to  the  memory  of  her 
father,  her  happiest  days  those  of  the  autumn  of  1386, 
when  the  Galician  nobles  came  to  do  homage  to  their 
Queen,  or  of  1388  and  1389,  when,  the  last  honours  paid 
to  the  memory  of  Pedro  the  Just,  Constance  saw  his 
right  acknowledged  in  the  person  of  her  daughter, 
Katharine  of  Lancaster,  Princess  of  the  Astunas 

One  of  her  letters,  an  autograph,  has  survived  2  It  is 
addressed  to  the  Chancellor  of  the  University  of  Oxford, 
entreating  him  to  commend  a  friar,  Brother  Alvarez,  one 
of  her  own  sub]ects,  to  the  Prior  of  the  Oxford  Dominicans, 
evidence  perhaps  of  her  care  for  the  poor  and  her  legard 
for  learning 

Her  son,  "  John  of  Gaunt,"  had  died  in  infancy  , 
after  the  marriage  of  her  daughter  in  1388,  Constance 
seems  to  have  lived  apart,  with  a  Court  of  her  own,  a  few 
gentlemen  of  Castile  and  a  tram  of  ladies  who  followed 
her  into  exile  in  1366  and  came  with  her  from  Boideaux 
at  her  marriage  She  was  buried  with  great  magnificence 
in  St.  Mary's,  Leicester,  where  every  year  on  the  anni 
versary  of  her  death  Lancaster  caused  an  obit  to  be 
celebrated  for  her  soul 3 

1  Robes  were  provided  for  Katharine  Swynford  at  the  feast 
of  the  Garter,  St.  George's  Day,  1387  Beltz,  Memorials  of  the 
Garter,  p  250  For  her  influence  see  Bateson,  Records  of  the 
Borough  of  Leicester  Mayor's  account,  1375-6  165  for  wine 
sent  to  the  Lady  Katharine  Swynford  (u  155) ,  1377-9,  £3  6s  &d 
for  a  horse  given  to  the  Lady  Katharine  Swynford ,  £2  os  6d  for  a 
pan  of  iron  given  to  the  said  Katharine  for  "expediting  business 
touching  the  tenement  in  Stretton,  and  for  other  business  for 
which  a  certain  lord  besought  the  aforesaid  Katharine  so 

successfully  that  the  aforesaid  town  was  pardoned  the  lending 
of  silver  to  the  King  m  that  year  "  (11  171) 

a  M  A  E  Wood,  Royal  Letters,  i  66 

3  For  the  enormous  expense  of  the  burial  see  balance  sheet 
(Appendix,  p.  449) ,  for  the  obit,  see  Will  (Appendix,  p  429) 



Her  death  had  no  effect  on  the  relations  between  Lan 
caster  and  the  Castihan  Government.  The  yearly  tribute 
continued  to  be  paid,  and  no  attempt  was  made  to  repu 
diate  the  obligations  of  the  treaty  of  1388.  Only  an  out 
break  of  the  war  would  have  been  likely  to  jeopardise  the 
Duke's  position,  but  with  the  notable  successes  achieved 
by  his  policy  in  May,  1394,  suc^  a  contingency  was  now 
more  remote  than  ever  He  might  rest  content,  his  hopes 
realized  and  with  the  assurance  of  success. 

Yet,  according  to  one  authority,  there  was  still  an 
anxiety  weighing  on  the  Duke's  mind  ,  he  could  not,  we 
are  told,  leave  England  with  any  peace  of  mind  until  he 
had  secured  the  recognition  of  his  son,  Henry  Earl  of 
Derby,  as  heir  apparent  1 

The  writer  who  continued  tne  Eulogium  is  respon 
sible  for  the  statement  that  Lancaster  asked  Parliament 
(meaning  that  of  January,  1394,  though  the  chronology 
of  the  passage  is  hopelessly  confused)  to  reopen  the 
question  of  the  succession,  which  he  elsewhere  states  to 
have  been  definitely  settled  nine  years  earlier  by  the 
proclamation  of  the  Earl  of  March  as  the  lineal  heir  to 
the  throne i 

The  story  (of  which  it  is  needless  to  say  that  the  Rolls 
of  Parliament  and  the  records  of  the  Privy  Council  know 
nothing)  briefly  is  this  .  that  Lancaster  asked  that  his 
son  should  be  recognized  as  heir  to  the  throne  ,  that  the 
Earl  of  March  rebutted  the  claim  and  urged  his  own  right 
(which  was  indisputable),  and  that  the  Duke  thereupon 
came  forward  with  an  absurd  story  to  the  effect  that 
Edmund  Crouchback,  great-grandfather  of  Blanche  of 
Lancaster,  was  really  the  elder  brother  of  Edward  I,  but 
that  owing  to  a  personal  deformity  (the  origin  of  his  name), 
he  had  been  set  aside  in  favour  of  the  younger  brother, 
on  the  understanding  that  this  deviation  from  the  right 

1  Cont  Eulog  in  361,  369-70. 


line  of  descent  should  not  prejudice  the  rights  of  his 

The  myth  was  capable  of  expansion  ,  to  read  it  in  its 
completed  form  we  must  turn  to  the  pages  of  John 
Hardyng's  chronicle  l  Hardyng  improves  on  the  simple 
absurdity  of  the  original,  first  by  making  John  of  Gaunt, 
who  was  thirty-seven  years  older  than  Richard  II,  claim 
himself  to  be  recognized  as  his  nephew's  heir ,  secondly, 
by  adding  his  famous  embellishment — the  story  of  the 
forged  pedigree  and  chronicle  Hardyng  states  that  John 
of  Gaunt "  among  the  Lords  in  Council  and  in  Parliaments 
and  in  the  Common  House  among  the  knights  chosen  for 
the  Commons  asked  by  bill  to  be  admit  heir  apparent  to 
Kong  Richard,  considering  how  the  King  was  like  to  have 
no  issue  of  his  body."  To  this  he  adds,  "  the  Lords 
spiritual  and  temporal  and  the  Commons  in  the  Common 
House  by  whole  advice  said  that  the  Earl  of  March, 
Roger  Mortimer,  was  his  next  heir  to  the  crown  of  full 
descent  of  blood,  and  they  would  have  none  other,  and 
asked  a  question  upon  it,  who  durst  disable  the  King  of 
issue,  he  being  young  and  able  to  have  issue  "  Foiled 
in  his  first  intent,  the  wicked  Duke  puts  forward  the 
story  about  Edmund  Crouchback,  and  "  feigns  an  un 
true  chronicle  "  to  support  it,  "which  chronicle  so  forged 
the  Duke  did  put  into  divers  Abbeys  and  in  Friaries  for 
to  be  kept  for  the  inheritance  of  his  son  to  the  crown  " 
Hardyng  then  goes  on  to  relate  how  Henry  IV,  in  1399, 
having  got  Richard  II  securely  in  the  Tower,  made  use 
of  this  forged  chronicle  to  prove  his  hereditary  right  to 
the  throne.3 

It  is  unnecessary  to  go  into  the  sequel,  for  this  part  of 
the  story  has  already  been  disposed  of  : 3  all  that  concerns 
the  history  of  John  of  Gaunt  is  the  first  part,  his  share  in 

1  Archaeologta,  vol  xvi  pp   139  sqq 

2  See  also  Scotichromcon,  xv  7 

3  Stubbs,  Constitutional  History,  111   1 1  and  1 2  (notes) 



this  supposed  childish  attempt  to  delude  England  and 
alter  the  line  of  succession, 

In  the  absence  of  any  decent  evidence,  it  may  be  suf 
ficient  to  point  out  the  inherent  absurdities  of  the  whole 
story  The  tale  about  Edmund  of  Lancaster,  who  was 
known  to  have  been  "  one  of  the  seemliest  persons  in 
England,"  would  of  course  have  deceived  no  one,  and, 
if  ever  it  had  been  put  forward,  would  have  been  refuted 
by  common  notoriety ,  yet  there  is  no  hint  in  official 
records  or  trustworthy  contemporary  annals  of  any  such 
plea  being  produced,  and  had  it  been  produced  it  would 
certainly  have  awakened  Richard's  former  jealousies  and 
fears  and  wrecked  his  new-born  confidence  in  his  eldest 
uncle.  The  Duke's  "  bills  "  and  the  forgeries  themselves 
have  never  been  seen,1  and  supposing  the  insuperable 
difficulties  overcome  of  executing  a  fraud  which  would 
convince  no  one,  the  task  of  foisting  copies  of  the  forged 
chronicle  upon  "  divers  abbeys  and  friaries  "  would  have 
baffled  all  ingenuity  How  much  influence  Lancaster 
had  upon  the  writing  of  history  even  m  abbeys  which 
claimed  him  as  a  benefactor,  appears  from  the  existence 
of  the  "  scandalous  chronicle  "  of  St  Albans. 

Hardyng  gives  his  account  on  the  authority  of  certain 
conversations  which  took  place  at  different  times  between 
himself  and  his  patron,  Henry  Percy,  and  it  bears  all  the 
marks  of  an  invention  produced  to  explain  previous 

Cross-examination  being  impossible,  it  may  be  material 
to  say  something  of  the  character  and  antecedents  of 
the  witness  2 

1  Henncus  vendicavit  sibi  coronam,  pnmo   ex    propin- 
quitate  sangumis,  quam  probavit  ex  anhquis    qmdem    gestis, 
quorum  veras  copias  necdum  vidi      Capgrave,  de  Illust.  Hennas, 

2  See  article  "Hardyng"  in  Diet  Nat    Biog  and  Sir  F  Pal- 
grave's  introduction  to  Documents  and  Records   illustrating  the 
History  of  Scotland     (Record  Commission,  1837  ) 


Born  in  1378,  Hardyng  was  brought  up  in  the  house 
hold  of  Henry  Percy  the  younger  ("  Hotspur  "),  and  was 
devoted  to  the  family  of  Northumberland  He  had  two 
passions,  a  love  of  antiquities  and  a  hatred  of  the  Scots, 
and  he  was  fortunate  in  finding  a  vocation  which  gratified 
both  together  This  was  to  collect  documents  concerning 
the  relation  between  England  and  Scotland  with  a  view 
to  proving  the  fact  of  English  suzerainty  over  the  northern 
kingdom.  Failing  to  find  proofs,  Hardyng  forged  them, 
and  the  fruits  of  his  labours,  a  series  of  spurious  charters, 
were  sold  by  him  to  the  English  Government  for  a  con 
sideration,  and  duly  deposited  among  the  records  of  the 
Exchequer  in  a  box  labelled  "  Scotia  Hardyng  "  The  tale 
of  the  forged  chronicle  deserved  a  place  in  that  box.  It 
amounts  to  gossip  between  the  Percies,  bitter  enemies  of 
the  Lancastrian  dynasty  who  lost  their  lives  in  rebellion 
against  it,  reported  by  a  convicted  swindler,  who,  himself 
an  expert,  under-rated  the  difficulties  of  the  profession 
of  forgery 

If  the  story  proves  anything  at  all,  it  may  be  taken  as 
evidence  of  the  anxiety  felt  by  the  nation  as  to  the  suc 
cession,  ever  since  Richard's  marriage  with  Anne  of 
Bohemia  had  proved  sterile,  and  of  the  interest  felt  in  the 
position  of  the  House  of  Lancaster  in  relation  to  the 
dynastic  problem  1 

1  For  another  instance  of  this  feeling  see  the  detailed  account 
of  the  family  of  Lancaster  and  Clarence,  Higd  ix.  96-7, 


Chapter  XV 


IN  September,  1394,  the  King  left  for  Ireland,    and 
soon  after  the  Duke  sailed  for  the  south.1 
Almost  a  generation  of  Gascon  liegemen  had  passed 
away  since  the  Duke  of  Aqmtame  had  first  seen  the  land 
which  he  now  came  to  rule  ,  but  since  the  parliament  at 
Bayonnne  of  1366,  when  Don  Pedro  had  boasted  of  the 
hoarded  treasures  of  Castile,  since  the  return  to  Bordeaux 
while  the  laurels  of  Najera  were  still  fresh,   John  of 
Gaunt  had  lived  many  months  among  the  sunny  vineyards 
of  the  Garonne  and  Dordogne     Six  months'  experience 
as  Lieutenant  for  the  Prince  his  brother,  m  1371,  had 
taught    him    something    of     the    difficulties    military, 
political  and  financial,  which  beset  the  King's  representa 
tive  m  the  Gascon  dependency     In  Gascon  territory  he 
had  married  Constance  of  Castile  ,  to  Bordeaux  he  had 
led  the  remnants  of  the  shattered  army  which  followed 
him  through  France  in  1373,  and  m  1388  during  a  third 
Lieutenancy  in  the  south  the  Duke  had  won  the  diplo 
matic  victory  over  the  courts  of  Castile  and  France, 
which  secured  a  throne  for  Katharine  of  Lancaster 

More  than  three  years  spent  in  Aqmtame,  and  thiee 
successive  terms  of  supreme  military  command  must 

1  Froissart,  K  de  L  xv  136,  139  Ordei  to  collect  ships  for  the 
voyage  to  Ireland  "  exceptis  dumtaxat  navibus  et  alus  vasis  de 
partibus  borealitms  pio  passagio  canssimi  Avunculi  nostri 
Johanms  etc  versus  partes  Aquitamae  oidmatis " 

September  13,  1394     Foed,  VII  789 



have  made  him  familiar  with  the  men  whom  he  was  now 
to  rule.  Baron  and  burgess  were  known  to  him  alike, 
the  turbulence  of  the  one  and  the  stubborn  pride  of  the 
other,  Hot-headed  courage  and  impulsiveness  have 
made  the  name  of  the  Gascon  noble  a  by-word : 
to  the  proud  independence  of  the  burgesses  of  the  great 
cities,  Bordeaux,  Bayonne  and  Dax,  the  Italian  re 
publics  or  the  great  towns  of  Flanders  can  alone  supply 
a  parallel,1 

Gascon  differed  from  Frenchman  as  much  in  political 
conditions  as  in  race,  language  and  sentiment.  The 
administrative  system  of  Aquitame  was  complete  and 
self-contained  At  its  head  stood  the  "Seneschal  of 
Gascony,"  the  chief  executive  officer  military  and  civil. 
The  "  Constable  of  Bordeaux,"  at  first  a  military  officer, 
had  been  forced  by  time  and  circumstance  to  the  head 
of  the  financial  system  These  two  great  officials,  to 
gether  with  the  "  Chancellor  of  Aquitame,"  acting  with 
the  advice  of  the  royal  council,  formed  the  executive 
government  of  Aquitame, 

The  King's  Lieutenant  stands  outside  the  ordinary 
governmental  system.  He  is  Commander-m-Chief  of  the 
forces,  charged  with  the  defence  of  the  King's  dominions. 
During  the  Hundred  Years  War  the  force  of  circum 
stances  converted  into  a  permanent  office  what  had  been 
in  its  origin  a  temporary  military  command,  called  into 
existence  to  meet  special  and  extraordinary  conditions. 
So,  throughout  the  reigns  of  Edward  III  and  Richard  II 
the  government  of  the  dependency  is  never  left  for  long 
without  the  protection  of  the  King's  special  representa 
tive,  though,  of  course,  when  the  "  Duke "  or  the 
"  Prince  "  of  Aquitame  is  present,  the  special  office  of 
King's  Lieutenant  is  merged  in  the  higher  dignity. 

1  The  provision  excluding  nobles  from  the  Corporation  of  Bor 
deaux  was  suppressed  by  Lancaster  at  the  request  of  the  city 
28  Oct  1392  Lwre  des  Bouillons,  291 



Two  features  stand  out  clearly  in  the  picture  of  four 
teenth-century  Aquitame ,  the  extreme  independence 
of  Gascony  under  English  rule,  and  the  loyalty  of 
the  Gascons  to  their  alien  suzerain  l 

The  situation  was  unnatural :  it  was  doomed  to  fall 
with  the  growth  of  a  national  sentiment,  of  a  French 
patriotism  As  yet  that  sentiment  scarcely  existed. 
It  must  not  be  forgotten  that  the  Gascon  dialect  marked 
off  the  men  of  the  south  as  a  distinct  race,  and  that  the 
Gascon  still  looked  upon  the  man  from  the  north  much 
in  the  same  way  as  the  Provencal  had  regarded  Mont- 
fort  and  the  northern  invaders  in  the  Albigensian  crusades 
of  the  thirteenth  century  Froissart  can  still  speak  of 
Gascons  in  distinction  to  Frenchmen  and  Burgundians, 
Picards  and  Normans. 

Meanwhile  policy  had  maintained  in  equilibrium  a 
balance  of  forces  that  could  not  in  the  nature  of  things 
be  permanent,  for  while  the  Kings  of  France  had  made 
it  their  settled  policy  to  crush  municipal  independence, 
English  sovereigns  had  for  more  than  a  century  done 
everything  in  their  power  to  foster  local  liberty 

When  John  of  Gaunt  arrived  in  Aquitaine  the  French 
monarchy  had  already  won  a  barren  victory  over  its 
own  subjects ;  the  French  communes  had  entered  upon 
the  period  of  their  decline,  In  Gascony  municipal 
liberty  had  reached  its  zenith 

The  judicial  system  of  Aquitaine,  allowing  appeal  to 
the  suzerain,  but  virtually  self-centred,  preserved  justice 
between  Gascon  and  Englishman,  A  fiscal  system  far 
less  burdensome  than  that  of  France  offered  advantages 
which  the  cities  were  not  slow  to  appreciate  English 
rule  meant  a  large  measure  of  self-government,  and 
considerable  commercial  privilege 

Bordeaux,  the  emporium  of  the  great  wine  trade,  and 
the  entrepot  of  the  scarcely  less  important  carrying  trade 

1  See  M,  Bnssaud's  valuable][essay  Les  Anglais  en  Gwyenne 



in  pilgrims  (who  flocked  from  the  north,  from  England, 
France  and  the  Low  Countries,  to  the  shrine  of  St  James 
of  Compostella)  had  for  a  century  basked  in  the  sunshine 
of  royal  favour;  indeed,  on  more  than  one  occasion 
Edward  II  had  supported  the  interests  of  his  Gascon 
capital  against  those  of  London  itself,  and  since  1272  the 
city  haden]oyed  the  privilege  of  electing  its  own  mayor. 

Bordeaux  therefore  was  identified  with  the  English 

But  the  loyalty  of  Aquitaine  must  not  be  overstated. 
Resting  solely  on  self-interest,  it  lacked  what  is  perhaps 
the  strongest  of  all  bases,  the  sentiment  of  common  race 
and  blood,  language  and  tradition,  and  such  bonds  of 
union  as  did  exist,  were  from  their  nature  stronger  with 
the  cities  than  with  the  feudal  classes. 

The  English,  it  has  been  remarked,1  never  succeeded 
in  producing  a  Gascon-English  patriotism  If  the 
Gascon  was  not  French,  neither  was  he  English.  Gascons 
remained  a  race  apart,  subject  to  alien  rule,  and  to  them 
the  wine  trade  and  local  liberty  were  more  than  the 
English  leopards  or  the  likes  of  France  The  bond, 
therefore,  which  united  this  dependency  to  the  English 
crown  remained  material,  not  racial  or  sentimental,  and 
under  a  strain  it  would  snap 

Such  a  strain  had  been  brought  to  bear  upon  it  by  the 
taxation  of  the  Black  Prince  in  1368, 

In  spite  of  Prince  Edward's  personal  charm,  a  pres 
tige  without  rival  in  the  lands  of  chivalry,  a  court  without 
parallel  for  its  brilliance  m  Western  Europe,1  his  eight 
years'  government  (1362-1370)  had  ended  m  disaster 
and  ruin  The  Prince  had  alienated  the  nobles  ;  he  had 
thrown  the  powerful  House  of  Albret  and  its  following 
among  the  noblesse  into  the  arms  of  France  He  had 

1  Les  Anglais  en  Guyenne,  p   115 

2  For  Prince  Edward's  court  at  Bordeaux  and  Angouleme,  see 
Chandos  Herald  1607-1637  and  Froissart 



weak^ed  instead  of  strengthening  the  hold  of  England 
over  the  Principality  his  government  recalled  the 
memories  of  the  fatal  "  fouage,"  the  appeal  to  France 
and  the  rebellion 

The  difficulties  which  m  1395  weie  awaiting  the  new 
Duke  of  Aquitame  were  pait  of  Pnnce  Ed\\  aid's  legacy 
Once  more  the  fortunes  of  the  youngei  bi  other  aie 
shaped  by  the  stronger  hand  of  the  elder  Prince 
Edward's  example  had  fired  John  of  Gaunt  with  the 
martial  spirit ;  his  precept  had  trained  the  young  soldier 
to  arms  The  Spanish  campaign  produced  the  Spanish 
marriage  ,  the  mistakes  of  the  Black  Prince  m  1368  are 
visited  after  a  generation  upon  his  brother  m  the  sus 
picion  and  mistrust  of  a  disaffected  baronage  and  ]ealous 

To  strengthen  the  grip  of  England  on  the  Gascon 
dependency,  after  years  of  uninterrupted  military  failure 
had  damaged  her  prestige  and  pushed  back  her  frontiers, 
might  seem  difficult ,  to  succeed  where  the  Black  Prince 
had  failed  might  well  seem  impossible  The  new  Duke 
of  Aquitame  was  called  to  a  task  requiring  m  a  rare 
degree  tact  both  personal  and  political,  and  firmness. 
Strangely  enough,  the  chroniclers  from  whom  such  an 
assurance  is  least  expected,  say  that  he  had  almost  over 
come  his  difficulties  when  the  task  was  taken  from  his 

The  four  and  a  half  years  between  the  formal  investi 
ture  and  the  departure  for  the  south  were  full  of  ominous 
signs  The  charter i  which  granted  to  him  the  Duchy  of 

1  See  in  Foed,  VII  659-663  five  instruments  all  dated 
March  2,  1390  (i )  The  Charter  (ii )  Letters  addressed  to 
the  three  estates  commanding  obedience  (in )  Letters  ad 
dressed  to  the  officials  of  the  duchy  commanding  them  to  pro 
duce  their  accounts  to  the  Duke's  officers  (iv  )  Letters  revoking 
concessions  and  grants  (v )  Letters  enjoining  obedience, 
specially  addressed  to  the  Seigneur  de  Castelnau,  the  Sieur  de 
Le-sparre  and  Arnald  Giliam  de  Marsen 


Aquitame  made  over  to  the  Duke  "  all  cities  castles^owns 
places  lands  communes  and  provinces  within  it,  to  be  held 
of  King  Richard  and  his  heirs  as  fangs  of  France  by  homage 
liege  for  life  "  The  grant  included  "  all  islands  adjacent, 
homages,  fealty,  honour  and  obedience,  all  vassals, 
questals,  fees,  reversions,  services,  jurisdictions  and 
rights,  justice,  advowsons  of  religious  houses,  and 
all  revenue,  emoluments  and  regalia,  as  fully,  wholly 
and  perfectly  as  the  King  possessed  them,  in  spite  of 
any  grants  previously  made  to  the  contrary,"  but  the 
King  adds,  "  saving  to  us  as  Kings  of  France  and  to  our 
heirs  as  Kings  of  France  the  direct  lordship,  suzerainty 
and  reversion  of  the  Duchy."  It  is  expressly  provided 
that  on  the  Duke's  death  the  Duchy  shall  revert  intact 
to  the  Crown 

The  known  susceptibilities  of  the  Gascons  had  been 
spared,  so  it  seemed,  in  the  letters  patent  (bearing  the 
same  date),  reciting  the  grant  and  commanding  obedience, 
addressed  to  the  prelates,  nobles,  officers  and  citizens 
of  Aquitaine.  Existing  privileges  might  indeed  appear 
to  receive  sufficient  guarantee  in  the  clause  "  Sauvez 
toutdis  a  vous  vos  privileges  franchises  et  hbertees  et  a 
nous  et  a  noz  heirs  le  directe  seignurie  soverainetee  et 
resort  de  la  dite  Duchee  et  des  pais  et  subgitz  de  notre 
seignurie  d'Aquitaigne." 

Only  the  entourage  of  Bordeaux  and  Bayonne,  with 
the  littoral  between  the  mouth  of  the  Garonne  and  the 
Pyrenees  remained  at  this  time  under  effective  English 
rule.  With  shrunken  territory,  therefore,  and  a  depleted 
income  the  King  had  thought  it  necessary  to  revoke  such 
concessions  as  had  alienated  sources  of  revenue 

Hence  a  third  instrument  (bearing  the  same  date), 
which  runs  "  Inasmuch  as  the  country  is  so  heavily 
charged  by  certain  donations  made  by  us  and  by  our  pre 
decessors  .  .  .  that  the  Duke  cannot  have  aid  or  comfort 
for  the  sustenance  and  support  of  his  officers,  all  such 



concessions  and  grants  are  hereby  revoked  in  order 
that  the  profits  and  revenues  may  be  applied  to  and 
expended  on  the  good  government  and  safeguard  of  the 

This  act  of  resumption  was  unfortunate.  It  is  clear 
from  the  Duke's  language  in  Parliament  at  the  time  of 
his  investiture1  that  he  expected  considerable  financial 
embarrassment  on  taking  up  his  new  duties.  That  was 
nothing  new.  He  had  felt  the  same  difficulty  in  1371, 
Anything  like  wholesale  expropriation  was  certainly 
not  contemplated,  but  the  letters  seemed  of  dangerous 
import.  They  were  interpreted  as  an  attack  on  vested 
interests.  It  is  always  impolitic  to  disturb  prescriptive 
rights,  and  so  it  proved  in  this  case,  for  those  who  feared 
for  their  own  interests  were  not  slow  to  raise  the  cry  that 
Gascon  liberties  were  threatened  and  the  constitution 
was  in  danger.  Before  the  end  of  the  year  a  deputa 
tion  from  Aquitaine  had  laid  a  remonstrance  before  the 
King,  who,  with  a  protest  against  misrepresentation, 
caused  the  objectionable  instrument  to  be  revoked,  while 
Lancaster  with  his  own  hand  tore  up  the  letters  patent 
of  revocation  3 

But  his  difficulties  were  not  over  :  they  were  only  just 

To  the  Gascon  it  seemed  that  the  palladium  of  his 
freedom  was  the  direct  and  immediate  connexion  of 
Aquitaine  with  the  English  crown. 

1  Rot.  Part.  Ill  263  b  264  a  *  Cf  ibid  II.  311  and  Appendix  IV* 

P- 447 
3  After  reciting  the  letters  of  revocation  dated  March  2,  the 

instrument  goes  on  "  Ascuns  disans  autrement  que  a  point,  et 
mal  gratiousement,  que  non  seulement  dessons  avoir  revoque  les 
donations  suisdites,  mes  les  privileges  francheisies  et  libertes  a 
inesme  les  pans  et  subgiz  .  .  ottroies,  come  par  le  teneur  des 
dites  lettres  revocatoires  aparoit  du  tout  le  contraire  " 

The  letters  of  revocation  are  then  cancelled,  without  prejudice 
to  the  grant  of  the  duchy.  Nov  30,  1390  Foedt  VIII  687-8 

This  is  what  Malverne  has  got  hold  of  and  twisted.  Higd.  ix. 



So  strong  was  this  feeling  that  Edward  III,  on  assum 
ing  the  royal  style  of  France,  had  thought  it  politic  to 
place  on  record,  in  the  most  formal  manner,  that  the 
suzerainty  of  Aquitame  belonged  to  him  and  to  his  heirs 
as  Kings  of  England  and  not  as  Kings  of  France.1 

The  grant  of  March  2  had  sinned  against  this  principle 
in  two  ways.  In  the  first  place,  it  had  been  made  by 
Richard  II  as  King  of  France,  and  in  this  capacity 
homage  was  claimed.  With  no  semblance  of  probability 
that  the  crown  of  the  Valois  would  now  be  won  by  the 
Plantagenets,  this  might  pass  as  a  constitutional  point  of 
merely  academic  interest  But,  in  the  second  place,  it 
was  argued  that  to  create  as  Duke  of  Aquitame  any  one 
save  the  heir  to  the  throne  of  England,  was  a  violation 
of  the  Gascon  constitution  The  Gascons  protested 
against  a  mesne  lord  being  thrust  between  them  and 
their  suzerain  They  would  "  hold  of  the  King  of  Eng 
land  or  of  themselves  " 

This  opposition,  however  unexpected,  was  met  in 
a  spirit  of  conciliation.  In  letters  patent  (dated  Novem 
ber  23,  1390) a  the  King  replied  to  the  objectors  He 
had  no  intention  of  cancelling  the  liberties  of  Aquitame, 
least  of  all  that  which  united  the  Duchy  irrevocably  to 
the  English  crown,  but  merely  of  suspending  this  privi 
lege  for  the  lifetime  of  the  present  Duke 

"  Inasmuch  as  it  is  a  privilege  of  the  said  Duchy 
that  it  may  not  be  withdrawn,  separated,  or  bestowed 
away  from  the  royal  hand  and  crown  of  England 
we  declaie  that  it  was  not  and  is  not  our  intention  to 
derogate  from  or  prejudice  by  the  said  donation,  the 
said  privilege  for  the  future,  but  merely  to  suspend  it 
for  the  lifetime  of  our  uncle,  for  the  good  of  our  country 
and  subjects,  and  for  just  and  reasonable  cause  moving 
us  thereto  " 

1  Dated  June  4,  1342      Melanges  Htstonques,  n*  170* 
des  Bouillons,  i  233, 



The  reservation  of  suzerainty  and  reversion  to  the 
crown  are  again  lepeated. 

By  admitting  expressly  that  the  Duchy  could  not  be 
alienated,  and  by  implication  that  the  grant  to  Lancaster 
was  in  this  sense  an  alienation  (which  is  disputable), 
Richard  had  virtually  conceded  the  whole  position  A 
privilege  that  could  be  suspended  for  one  life  could  be  sus 
pended  for  a  second,  for  a  succession  of  lives — in  fact, 
indefinitely  The  direct  suzerainty  of  the  crown  of 
England,  and  its  immediate  connexion  with  Aquitaine 
recede  into  remote  distance 

A  grant  "  saving  all  privileges,"  coupled  with  the 
admission  that  the  inalienable  character  of  that  which 
is  granted  is  one  of  those  privileges,  is  indeed  an  elaborate 
contradiction,  hard  even  for  the  subtlety  of  constitutional 
law  to  explain  away. 

But  the  legal  contradiction  was  not  of  course  the  vital 
point  at  issue. 

It  was  a  mediaeval  habit  of  thought  to  cloak  a  practical 
issue  in  legal  garb  The  burgesses  of  Bordeaux  were 
men  of  business,  and  what  touched  them  nearly  was  the 
prospect  of  a  resident  governor  instead  of  an  absentee 
suzerain.  Hitherto,  with  the  exception  of  the  last  few 
years  of  Prince  Edward's  government,  the  balance  of 
Gascon  liberties  and  English  claims  had  been  nicely  pre 
served.  The  presence  of  a  Duke  of  the  blood  royal, 
whose  pride  was  known  and  whose  ambition  was  noto 
rious,  might  disturb  that  balance.  Another  "  fouage  " 
would  assuredly  lead  to  another  rebellion,  and  revolu 
tions  are  not  good  for  commerce.  "  Laissez-faire,"  said 
the  Gascons,  "  and  we  will  be  loyal."  There  was  no 
motive  to  be  otherwise  But  would  the  new  Duke  leave 
things  as  they  were  ? 

The  period  between  the  grant  of  the  duchy  and  the 
Duke's  departure  for  the  south  saw  repeated  attempts 
at  conciliation.  Sir  William  le  Scrope,  who  was  Senes- 



dial  of  Aquitaine,  had  confirmed  in  the  Duke's  name 
all  existing  privileges.  Lancaster  was  careful  to  publish 
his  ratification  of  this  act.  He  claimed  the  nomination 
of  public  officers ,  for  the  rest  he  left  things  as  they  were.1 

To  put  people's  minds  at  ease,  the  royal  charters  stating 
the  inalienable  nature  of  the  duchy  were  reissued  and 
proclaimed  anew.3 

A  batch  of  new  privileges  followed  the  confirmation 
of  the  old,3  and  a  politic  effort  was  made  to  humour 
Bordeaux  m  its  jealousy  of  its  neighbour  and  rival, 

This  was  not  without  effect,  for  by  July,  1392,  most 
of  the  prelates,  barons  and  commons  had  taken  the  oath 
of  allegiance — with  reservations. 

But  consciences  were  tender,  and  there  yet  remained 
a  scruple  to  remove  Had  the  grant  been  made  of  the 
King's  free  will,  and  was  it  still  his  intention  that  it 
should  take  effect  ? 

The  Gascons  pretended  to  have  their  doubts.  The 
King  could  only  repeat,  in  words  as  explicit  as  words 
can  be,  that  the  grant  had  been  made  of  his  free  will  m 
full  Parliament,  by  the  advice  and  with  the  assent  of 

1  Instrument  dated  September  4,  139!  Livre  des  Bouillons,  i. 

3  Notarial  instrument  dated  November  13,  1391  Record 
Report,  xlv  Appendix,  ix  Box  11  No  295  Cf  instrument  dated 
Winchester,  Jan  24,  1393  Livre  des  Bouillons,  i  298-9 

3  Orders  to  the  Duke's  officers  to  respect  a  grant  to  the  Mayor 
and  Jurats  of  Bordeaux  of  the  right  to  compel  merchants  whose 
ships  anchor  before  the  town  to  land  provisions  earned  by  them. 
Livre  des  Bouillons,  i  246 

Grant  to  the  Mayor  and  Jurats  of  power  to  compel  the  pay 
ment  of  accustomed  "  p6ages  "  which  some  people  had  tried 
to  avoid,  dated  July  24,  1392  Ibid  248 

Declaration  that  no  privileges  which  have  been  or  shall  be 
granted  to  towns  or  persons  in  the  duchy  shall  prejudice  the 
existing  privileges  of  Bordeaux  (same  date), 

Grant  of  building  rights  dated  October  28,  1392.      Ibid,  i  249. 

4  Ibid*  i,  298-9 



the  Privy  Council  and  both  Estates  of  the  Realm ,  that 
it  had  been  and  still  was  his  will,  purpose  and  intention 
that  it  should  take  effect  *  The  document  appears  con 
vincing,  but  the  Gascons  remained  of  the  same  opinion 
still,  and  when  in  the  next  year  Harry  "  Hotspur  "  went 
south  as  the  Duke's  lieutenant,  Bordeaux  refused  to 
receive  him  except  as  the  representative  of  the  King.* 

By  the  spring  of  1394  a  deputation  was  on  it£  way 
from  the  unwilling  subjects  of  John  of  Gaunt  to  the 
English  court.  The  Sieur  de  Lesparre,  the  Vicomte  de 
Dort  and  the  Seigneur  de  Castelnau,  three  of  the  leading 
magnates  of  Aquitaine,  were  charged  to  speak  with  the 
King  "  on  certain  weighty  matters  touching  the  King 
and  the  state  of  Aquitaine."  3 

If  the  minutes  of  the  Privy  Council  meetings  for  these 
years  survived,  it  would  be  interesting  to  hear  the  Gascon 
doubts  and  scruples  from  the  lips  of  the  Lord  of  Castle- 
nau.  But  the  result  of  the  mission  is  clear.  A 
fresh  declaration  was  issued  by  the  King.  The  grant 
had  been  made  of  his  entire  free  will,  and  he  was  de 
termined  to  make  it  good 

The  Gascons  are  reminded  that  an  oath  of  obedience 
"  with  reservations  "  is  contrary  to  the  tenour  of  the 
King's  commands  Idle  rumours  to  the  effect  that 
in  making  his  uncle  Duke  of  Aquitaine  the  King  had 
not  acted  as  a  free  agent  are  to  be  ignored.  So  also  is 
the  offending  oath ;  the  proper  oath  must  be  taken,  and 
homage  and  obedience  rendered  in  due  form.* 

Fortified  with  this   instrument,  the  Duke   and  his 

1  Dated  July  7,  1392.    Rot  Gasc  i  178(4) 

*  Henry  Percy  was  sent  out  m  1393.  7pod.  Neust.  368, 
Ann,  Ric  //,  158.  He  was  still  acting  as  Lieutenant  in  March, 
1394.  Lwre  des  Bouillons,  484 

1  Letters  of  protection,  dated  April  8,  1394    Foed,  VII.  767 

4  Mandate,  dated  Cardiff,  September  10,  1394.  Livre  des 
Bouillons^  i.  228.  For  the  Gascon  oath  see  Record  Reportt  xlv, 
App.  Box  11.  Nos.  313,  318,  and  325. 



retinue  set  sail  from  English  shores  The  passage  was 
stormy,  and  heavy  gales  were  blowing  in  the  "  Bay."  * 
It  was  ominous  of  what  remained  in  store 

At  length  the  Duke  of  Aquitaine  reached  his  dominions, 
and  disembarked  at  Libourne  on  the  Dordogne  From 
Libourne  he  sent  messengers  to  announce  his  arrival 
to  the  prelates,  nobles  and  cities  of  the  Duchy.  "  Every 
where  the  envoys  were  received  with  respect,  but  without 
enthusiasm,  The  Council  of  Bordeaux  declined  to 
recognize  his  authority  unless  Bayonne  and  Dax  did 
the  same. 

The  same  answer  was  received  from  the  other  cities. 
As  the  King's  representative,  Lancaster  was  welcome. 
That  was  all.  It  was  obvious  that  the  greatest  caution 
must  be  exercised.  A  false  step  at  the  start  might 
offend  susceptibilities  and  render  the  difficulties  of 
the  Duke's  position  insuperable  The  imposing  retinue 
of  men-at-arms  and  archers  was  m  itself  a  danger  .  no 
one  must  be  allowed  to  represent  this  force  as  a  menace 
The  Duke  intended  to  achieve  his  object  by  fair  means 
and  fair  words. 

Libourne  is  hard  by  Lormont,  and  from  Lormont  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  Garonne  it  is  only  a  step  to  Bor 
deaux.  Lancaster  took  up  his  residence  at  Lormont  and 
prepared  to  face  the  initial  difficulty  of  entering  his 

At  Bordeaux  the  council  debated  To  shut  their  gates 
on  a  Prince  of  the  blood  would  scarcely  be  regarded  in 
England  as  a  convincing  proof  of  their  boasted  loyalty 
to  the  crown.  Lancaster  held  the  King's  commission, 
and  Duke  or  not  Duke,  he  was  the  King's  representa 
tive  He  had  lived  among  them,  and  had  led  their 

Mtw  Ric  II,  169       This  may  explain  the  liberal  annuity 
granted  by  Lancaster  on  has  arrival  to  John  Brambre,  manner, 
"for  good  and  agreeable  service,"  dated  Libourne,  Dec  i,  1394 
Duehy  of  Lanes.  A  sets.  Bundle  xxxn,  No.  22. 



armies  and  protected  their  territories  An  extreme 
course  would  put  them  hopelessly  in  the  wrong  More 
over  it  might  be  dangerous.  The  burgesses  of  Bordeaux 
were  men  of  peace,  and  Lancaster  had  an  army. 

On  the  other  hand,  to  receive  him  sans  phrase 
might  appear  to  concede  the  whole  position,  and  prejudge 
the  issue 

Lancaster  cut  the  knot  by  issuing  letters  patent  in 
which  he  declared  that  by  passing  through  Bordeaux 
"  at  the  request  of  the  good  people  of  the  city  "  on  his 
way  to  Saint  Seurm,  where  he  intended  to  spend  the 
next  few  months,  he  was  acting  without  prejudice  to  any 
right  or  privilege  which  might  be  involved  He  added 
that  no  damage  should  be  done  to  the  city,  and  that  no 
one  should  suffer  in  body  or  estate.1 

The  first  step  had  been  taken  The  Duke  reached 
Saint  Seurm 

Three  days  later  a  politic  manifesto  appeared  in  which, 
after  refeience  to  the  losses  suffered  by  the  Gascons  in 
the  wars,  and  their  steady  loyalty  to  the  English  cause, 
the  Duke,  in  view  of  the  good  and  true  obedience  which 
he  expected  of  them,  confirmed  all  existing  rights,  liberties 
and  privileges,  to  those  who  had  recognized  his  authority 
or  would  do  so  before  February  2  next  following  3 

Meanwhile  there  had  been  parleyings  with  the  lords 
spiritual  and  temporal,  and  a  "  modus  Vivendi  "  had  been 
reached  The  Duke  was  to  be  received  in  Bordeaux 
provisionally  ,  but  he  agreed  not  to  perform  any  act  of 
sovereignty  without  the  concurrence  of  the  municipal 
government 3  The  real  issue  was  deferred 

1  Livre  des Bouillons ,1  253  and  257,  dated  Lormont,  January 9, 
and  Saint  Senim,  March  13,  1395 

3  Livre  des  Bouillons,  i  244,  dated  Saint  Seurm,  January  12, 

3  Livre  des  Bouillons  ^i  257  See  also  confirmation  of  a  number 
of  concessions  dated  March  20,  ibid,  269,  and  Record  Report,  xlv 
App  (Dip  Doc )  Box  H  No  324 



This  was  made  the  subject  of  a  formal  treaty  between 
representatives  of  the  three  estates,  the  Archbishop  of 
Bordeaux  with  some  of  the  leading  clergy,  Archambaud 
de  Graily  and  the  leading  barons,  and  the  Mayor  and 
Jurats  of  the  city 1  This  document,  the  Magna  Carta 
of  Aqmtame,  opens  with  general  considerations.  The 
terms  which  follow  are  to  be  submitted  to  the  King 
for  his  approval  (Article  I)  There  is  to  be  a  general 
amnesty  for  the  past ;  the  contumacy  of  the  Duke's  un 
willing  subjects  is  not  to  be  visited  by  fine,  amercement 
or  imprisonment  (Articles  II  and  III)  The  Duke  will 
respect  the  franchises  and  liberties  granted  to  Aquitame 
by  his  predecessors  and  by  his  own  officers  ,  he  renews 
and  confirms  all  grants  hitherto  made  (Articles  IV,  V 
and  VIII) 

The  body  of  the  treaty  itself  (for  it  is  virtually  a  treaty 
between  two  independent  contracting  poweis)  reflects, 
as  might  be  expected,  the  separate  interests  of  the  three 
estates  It  is  possible  to  distinguish  between  the  shares 
of  the  nobles,  the  clergy  and  the  commons  respectively 

In  Aquitame  as  in  England  the  clergy  were  the 
estate  most  easily  conciliated  The  clergy  of  Bordeaux 
had  no  fears  of  a  dangerous  enemy  to  ecclesiastical 
possessions  or  accepted  doctrine  To  them  Lancaster 
was  the  friend  of  the  Church,2  and  what  was  for  the 
moment  equally  important,  the  friend  of  the  Pope. 
Their  demands,  which  the  Duke  at  once  concedes,  go 
farther  than  those  of  nobles  or  commons  They  raise 
the  cry  which  Aquitame  under  English  rule  never  dared 
to  raise  :  "  Gascony  for  the  Gascons,"  They  ask  (and 

1  Dated  March  22,  1395      Livre  des  Bouillons ,  i   259-267 
a  It  is  perhaps  significant  that  Lancastei's  decision  in  a  suit 
between  the  Canons  of  St  Andrew  and  St  Seurm  and  the  clergy 
of  Bordeaux  generally  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  corporation  on 
the  other,  about  the  privilege  of  selling  wine  m  the  Bordeaux 
taverns,  was  given  in  favour  of  the  clergy  (dated  Oct   22,  1389) 
Registre  des  Jurades,  iv  160    Cf  Livre  des  Bouillons,  i    289,  290 



the  Duke  grants)  that  their  lord  will  so  use  his  influence 
with  the  Papal  court  that  the  benefices  of  the  duchy 
shall  be  given  to  ecclesiastics  native  to  the  duchy ;  if 
possible  to  those  who  are  friendly  to  the  English  cause 
(Article  XXVII).  In  other  words,  the  clergy  pkce 
Gascon  birth  first  and  loyalty  to  the  crown  second 
among  the  qualifications  for  a  benefice,  and  the  Duke 
tacitly  accepts  their  position.  It  was  perhaps  necessary ; 
certainly  it  was  a  politic  concession.  It  cost  him  nothing, 
and  it  secured  a  powerful  ally  Henceforth  the  lords 
spiritual  and  their  levies,  that  is,  one  third  of  the  estates 
and  one  half  of  the  upper  classes,  would  be  on  his  side  in 
the  coming  struggle. 

What  benefices  were  to  the  clergy,  feudal  ]urisdiction 
was  to  the  noblesse.  Even  before  the  formal  treaty  the 
Duke  had  done  something  to  conciliate  the  most  power 
ful  of  his  subjects  and  the  most  staunch  of  his  opponents, 
Archambaud  de  Graily,  by  guaranteeing  him  immunity 
from  interference  with  his  seignonal  rights.1  What  he 
had  granted  by  a  separate  charter  to  the  Sieur  de  Graily 
he  now  granted  to  the  whole  Gascon  baronage.  He 
undertakes  not  to  step  in  between  the  seigneur  and  his 
"  serfs  questiaux  " — between  the  lord  and  his  justiciables 
(Article  XI).  Feudal  jurisdiction  haute  moyenne  et 
basse  is  to  be  left  untouched  One  further  concession 
is  made  clearly  in  the  hope  of  conciliating  the  Gascon 
gentlemen  ,  the  Duke  promises  that  any  lands  which  may 
be  recovered  from  the  French  shall  be  restored  to  their 
former  tenants  (Article  XVIII)  Anything  like  a 
campaign  of  restoration  was  of  course  out  of  the 
question,  but  the  frontier  even  in  the  quietest  tunes 
was  by  no  means  a  fixed  and  immovable  boundary. 
It  fluctuated  ;  if  it  receded  at  the  expense  of  the  French, 
the  f drmer  lord  should  regain  his  lands  on  payment  of  a 
reasonable  "  fine "  by  way  of  contribution  towards 

1  Dated  March  14,  1395.     Varies  Bordeloises,  111  297 



military  expenses.  Again  a  politic  concession.  It 
cost  nothing ,  it  held  out  an  incentive  to  adventurous 
knights  whose  lands  lay  in  the  debatable  zone,  and  it 
bound  up  the  interests  of  the  dispossessed  with  the  Duke's 

The  concessions  clearly  granted  in  the  interest  of  the 
commercial  classes  are  neither  so  important  as  the  fore 
going,  nor  so  easy  to  distinguish  from  those  which  are 
general  in  their  scope  and  application  1  On  the  one  hand, 
Lancaster  doubtless  cared  less  for  the  friendship — or 
enmity — of  the  burgess  than  for  that  of  baron  or  church 
man  ,  on  the  other,  the  privileges  for  which  the  com 
mercial  classes  were  anxious  naturally  affected  the 
interests  of  all  classes  of  society 

On  one  point  the  burgesses  of  Bordeaux  received  a 
distinct  rebuff  Knowing,  as  a  commercial  community 
might  be  expected  to  know,  how  much  the  prosperity 
of  Bordeaux  depended  on  a  stable  currency,  they  had  tried 
to  make  Lancaster  pledge  himself  to  make  no  innovation 
in  the  coinage  The  Duke  turned  their  own  argument 
against  them  They  were  standing  on  the  time-honoured 
inalienable  privileges  of  Aquitame  The  weapon  was 
double-edged.  The  Duke  took  his  stand  on  the  same 
ground,  and  refused  to  depart  from  the  privileges  which 
by  royal  charter  his  predecessors  had  enpyed  The 
regality  of  coinage  m  England  was  enjoyed  by  no  subject 
of  the  crown,  not  even  by  a  Count  Palatine  Lancaster 
had  no  intention  of  giving  up  any  portion  of  his  rights. 

1  During  his  tenure  of  office  as  Lieutenant  Lancaster  had 
been  careful  to  conciliate  the  commercial  classes  ,  e  g  his  in 
tervention  brought  about  an  agreement  between  the  cloth 
merchants  of  London  and  Bordeaux  who  were  quarrelling  about 
the  length  of  the  measure  (Lwre  des  Bouillons,  i  374,  letters 
dated  Jan  31,  1374)  He  had  supported  a  claim  of  Bordeaux 
to  pontage  as  against  Corbiac  (ibid  297,  letters  dated  Oct  23, 
1389),  and  had  granted  the  burgesses  a  bouchenc  outside  the 
M6doo  gate  (Oct  25,  1389,  ibid  i  300) 



To  Article  XIV,  therefore,  he  returned  a  refusal,  at 
the  same  time  promising  redress  to  a  practical  incon 
venience,  the  insufficient  number  of  money-changers 

Yet  the  commercial  classes  did  not  go  away  empty- 
handed.  Next  to  the  wine-trade  the  most  lucrative 
industry  of  Bordeaux  was  the  transport  of  pilgrims. 
When  Saint  James  chose  a  local  habitation  in  Galicia, 
and  gave  his  name  to  Compostella,  he  conferred  a  boon 
of  the  first  value  upon  the  great  port  of  Aquitaine  ;  for 
it  was  at  Bordeaux  that  the  flocks  of  pilgrims  met  to  be 
shipped  via  San  Sebastian  and  Coruna  to  the  Galician 
shrine 1  A  prohibitive  tariff  might  deprive  the  Spanish 
saint  and  the  Gascon  dealers  of  a  considerable  revenue 
To  commerce  and  devotion  alike  it  would  be  calamitous 
Article  XXIV  promises  that  in  this  matter  only  the 
customary  dues  shall  be  exacted  by  the  officers  of  the 

The  other  financial  articles  are  of  general  application 
Confiscated  property  of  rebels  shall  be  devoted  m  the 
first  instance  to  discharging  the  royal  liabilities  (Article 
XXV).  Persons  who  have  an  assignment  on  the  revenues 
of  the  Castle  of  Bordeaux  shall  receive  due  payment 
(Article  XXI)  The  Duke  will  not  disturb  old  tariffs 
like  that  of  the  Chateau  de  POmbn&re  (Article  XV) 
Letters  "  of  chancery  and  seals  "  shall  be  taxed  according 
to  a  preconcerted  scale,  so  that  every  one  may  know 
beforehand  what  he  has  to  pay  (Article  VI).  Had 
the  Gascons  heard  of  the  capricious  extortion  which  the 
Duke's  father-m-law  of  Castile  had  practised  in  the 
matter  of  chancery  fees  ?  The  hated  right  of  purveyance 
shall  not  be  exercised  in  the  capital  (Article  X) ;  no  issue 
of  fraudulent  "  lettres  cCetat "  shall  deprive  creditors  of 

1  See  Early  Naval  Ballads,  No  i  (Ed  J  0  Halliwell, 
Percy  Society  London,  1841),  for  the  discomforts  of  the  sea 
voyage,  which  in  the  fourteenth  century  was  usually  broken  at 
one  of  the  Gascon  ports 



their  due  under  colour  of  fictitious  debts  to  the 
sovereign  (Article  XII).  Lastly,  no  new  imposition  or 
tax  shall  be  established  without  the  consent  of  the 
Estates  (Article  IX), 

Next  in  importance  to  finance  comes  the  administra 
tion  of  justice.  To  this  four  Articles  are  devoted.  No 
one  shall  be  liable  to  confiscation  until  his  cause  has 
been  duly  heard  (Article  XIII) ,  no  one  shall  be  hanged 
or  tortured  without  a  sentence  of  the  courts  (Article 
XIX) ,  no  one  who  has  the  right  to  be  tried  at  Bordeaux 
shall  be  transferred  to  any  other  court 1  (Article  XX)  ; 
finally,  the  appellate  jurisdiction  of  the  royal  courts  in 
England  is  to  be  duly  respected.3 

As  to  the  general  conduct  of  the  administration,  the 
Gascons  confine  themselves  to  moderate  and  sensible 
demands.  Froissart's  testimony  may  be  accepted  with 
out  suspicion  when  he  tells  us  that  under  Pnnce  Edward's 
rule  the  chief  practical  Gascon  grievance  was  the  monopoly 
of  official  position  by  Englishmen,  and  the  pride  and 
arrogance  of  the  official  class.  The  Gascon  commons  do 
not  ask  Lancaster  for  concessions  so  large  as  those  de 
manded  by  the  clergy ,  they  do  not  raise  questions  of 
blood  and  race.  They  merely  pray  that  the  Duke  will 
choose  capable  and  honest  administrators  from  men 
who  know  the  country  (Article  VI),  and  will  only  lease 

1  For  Gascon  susceptibilities  on  this  point  see  Livre  des 
3&u%ttons)  i  295  When  Lancaster  removed  a  prisoner  to  Eng 
land  for  trial  he  issued  letters  patent  at  the  request  of  the  Mayor 
and  Jurats  of  Bordeaux  o>clanng  that  the  transfer  was  made 
at  the  prisoner's  own  request,  and  without  prejudice  to  the 
privileges  of  the  city  (date^  Oct.  23,  1389). 

a  For  instance,  during,  Lancaster's  lieutenancy  a  question 
arose  as  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Abbot  of  Holy  Cross,  Bordeaux, 
and  others,  over  six  members  of  the  parish  of  St  Seunn,  whom 
they  claimed  as  questates  A  judgment  of  the  courts  of 
Bordeaux  in  favour  of  the  defendants  (with  costs)  was  reversed 
on  appeal  to  Lancaster  as  the  King's  Lieutenant  The  defendants 
in  the  original  action  appealed  to  the  King's  courts  at  West 
minster  Foedt  VII.  653-4 



or  farm  offices  to  men  of  good  repute  (Article  XXIII). 
In  other  words,  Aqmtaine  must  not  be  exploited  by  a 
class  of  needy  and  unscrupulous  adventurers. 

The  treaty  concluded,  the  high  contracting  parties 
sat  down  to  wait  for  the  royal  approval  and  a  better 
understanding  of  one  another.  In  later  days,  when  the 
son  of  the  Duke  of  Aquitaine  became  King  of  England 
and  suzerain  of  the  duchy,  the  Gascons  remembered 
the  events  of  the  year  with  some  alarm  Things  had 
gone  too  far,  and  they  evinced  some  anxiety  on  the  score 
of  a  possible  retribution,1 

But  though  relations  had  for  a  while  been  strained, 
the  treaty  had  cleared  the  air,  and  John  of  Gaunt  did 
his  best  to  remove  misapprehension  and  distrust.  That 
a  large  measure  of  success  attended  his  policy  of  con 
ciliation  may  be  accepted  as  a  fact,  for  all  the  chronicles, 
hostile  or  otherwise,  attest  it. 

And  the  secret  of  this  success  is  not  hard  to  find,  For 
while  the  Black  Prince  had  looked  on  his  principality,  as 
King  Edward  looked  on  his  kingdom,  merely  as  a  source 
of  revenue  and  a  recruiting  ground  for  soldiers  to  fight 
his  battles,  Lancaster  came  not  to  tax  but  to  spend. a 
The  tribute  of  Castile  and  the  rent  rolls  of  the  Lancas 
trian  lands  were  exhausted  in  lavish  expenditure — a  sure 
way  to  conciliate  merchant  and  burgess  Nor  was  the 
Gascon  noblesse  insensible  to  the  attractions  of  a 
luxurious  and  stately  court  such  as  the  Duke  maintained. 

1  Henry  IV,  by  letters  patent  dated  May  10,  1401,  pardons 
the  officers  of  Bordeaux  "  omnem  rancorem  omne  odium  et 
omnes  excessus  et  transgressiones  .  contra  nos  et  progemtores, 
ac  contra  canssimum  dominum  et  patrem  nostrum  nuper  Ducem 
Aquitaime  et  Lancastrie  .  usurpando  domimum  nostrum, 
vel  dominus  pnvilegus  franchesiis  et  statutis  suis  abutendo 
(Livre  des  Bouillons,  i  309  and  315), 

a  "  Cum  ]am  inaestimabilem  summam  thesauri  profudisset 
in  illis  partibus  pro  adipiscenda  patnotarum  benevolentia, 
subito  per  mandatum  revocatur,  Ann,  Rw.  II,  188  Cf, 
7pod,  Neust.  370  and  Wals,  ii  219 



So  the  work  of  restoring  confidence  in  Aquitaine  pro 
gressed  Meanwhile  others  besides  the  Gascons  had  been 
troubled  by  the  Duke's  arrival  Pans  as  well  as  Bordeaux 
had  taken  alarm.  By  1395  it  must  have  been  clear  to 
those  who  understood  politics  that  Lancaster's  influence 
had  been  thrown  into  the  scale  of  peace.  Since  the 
great  meeting  of  Amiens,  if  not  before,  the  "  Princes  des 
fleurs  de  lys  "  must  have  known  that  peace  was  the 
keynote  of  his  policy,  and  statesmen  like  Burgundy 
had  no  longer  any  fears  as  to  aggression  on  the  part  of 
the  Duke  of  Lancaster  Their  enemy  was  Gloucester, 
and  they  knew  it.  Still  the  presence  of  John  of  Gaunt 
had  caused  some  uneasiness,  for  hard  on  the  news  of  his 
arrival  came  word  of  fighting  in  the  "  debatable  land," 
and  the  capture  of  a  couple  of  towns  in  Saintonge  and 
Angouleme  Nervous  politicians  began  to  fear  the 
reopening  of  the  old  quarrel ;  their  fancy  saw  a  Gascon 
and  English  army  spreading  desolation  in  the  south  as 
Prince  Edward  had  done  on  the  famous  march  to  Car 
cassonne  a  quarter  of  a  century  before. 

To  sound  Lancaster's  intentions  Jean  Boucicaut, 
now  Marshal  of  France,  was  sent  to  the  South.  From 
Agen  the  Marshal  announced  his  arrival,  and  the  Duke 
advanced  to  his  old  Gascon  lordship  of  Bergerac  to  meet 
the  French  envoy  *  The  breach  of  the  Truce  in  Saintonge 
and  Angouleme  was  disowned  and  restitution  promised, 
and  all  fears  of  aggression  were  removed ,  indeed,  it  was 
easier  to  disarm  the  suspicion  of  enemies  than  of  subjects. 
His  mission  accomplished,  the  Marshal  was  in  no  hurry 
to  go  ,  a  certain  stately  hospitality  was  part  of  the 
Lancastrian  tradition,  and  the  Duke  was  never  more 
ready  to  display  it  than  to  his  "  adversaries  of  France." 
Boucicaut,  mirror  of  the  latter  day  chivalry,  a  "chevalier 
sans  peur  et  sans  reproche"  stayed  to  talk  with  the  veteran 
campaigner  of  "  arms  and  the  deeds  of  knighthood*" 
1  Lwre  des  faits  de  Jean  Bouctcauti  i.  xx, 



Doubtless  to  such  a  willing  listener  the  Duke  "  fought 
his  battles  o'er  again  "  ;  there  were  many  things  to  talk 
of — the  campaign  of  '70  ;  the  glorious  day  of  Na]era, 
and  the  invasion  of  Leon  when  the  Marshal  had  been 
found  in  the  ranks  of  his  enemies,  or  again  the  famous 
joust  at  St.  Ingelvert,  where  Boucicaut  had  thrown  down 
his  gage  to  the  chivalry  of  Europe,  and  Henry  of  Bolmg- 
broke  and  John  Beaufort  had  borne  themselves  with 
honour.  When  the  Marshal  left  it  was  to  report  that 
alarm  was  needless  1 

With  this  twofold  reconciliation  accomplished,  the 
French  reassured  and  the  Gascons  pacified,  John  of  Gaunt 
might  have  looked  forward  to  a  period  of  quiet  rule  in 
Aquitame,  but  it  was  not  to  be  Six  months  after  the 
famous  treaty  of  Bordeaux  came  a  royal  mandate  summon 
ing  him  back  to  England.  To  understand  the  King's 
latest  move  it  is  necessary  to  leave  Gascony  for  a  while, 
and  follow  the  envoys  charged  to  submit  the  "  Treaty  of 
Bordeaux "  for  the  royal  approval.  Hitherto  the 
case  for  plaintiffs  and  defendant  has  been  followed  on 
unimpeachable  evidence,  state  papers  and  the  municipal 
records  of  Bordeaux.  When  the  legal  tangle  is  earned 
to  the  court  of  appeal  the  nature  of  the  evidence  changes 
Formal  documents  fail,  for  the  minutes  of  the  Privy 
Council  before  which  the  envoys  went  to  lay  their 
"  draft  agreement "  have  not  survived.  But  in  their 
silence  is  heard  a  voice  more  eloquent,  if  less  certain. 
A  new  witness  enters,  and  with  him  sunlight  and  the 
breath  of  the  open  air  burst  into  the  court  close  with 
the  dust  of  legal  records.3 

For  soon  after  the  Gascon  envoys  arrived  in  England, 
on  July  12  there  landed  at  Dover  "  Sire  Jean  Froissart, 

1  Lancaster  was  also  visited  by  envoys  from  Hungary  escorted 
to  Bordeaux  by  officers  of  the  Duke  of  Anjou.    Brit.  Mus.  Add. 

Ch.  3371-7- 

a  Froissart)  K,  de  L,  xv,  140-168. 



treasurer  for  that  time  and  Canon  of   Chimay  in  the 
county  of  Hainault  and  the  diocese  of  Li£ge,"  who,  after 
twenty-seven  years'  absence,  was  returning  to  visit  the 
English  court.    Fortified  with  letters  from  the  Princes 
of  the  Low  Countries,  Froissart  had  come  to  pay  court 
to  the  grandson  of  his  earliest  patroness,  that  "noble 
lady  Philippa,"  of  whom  he  cannot  speak  without  grati 
tude    and   affection.    The    times    had    changed    since 
Froissart's  first  visit  to  England,    The  little  child  whom 
he  had  seen  last  at  the  font  in  the  Cathedral  of  Bordeaux 
on  the  eve  of  the  great  march  across  the  Pyrenees  was 
now  King,  and  as  Froissart  made  his  offering  at  the  shrine 
of  St.  Thomas  at  Canterbury  he  saw  the  tomb  of  King 
Richard's  father,  the  hero  of  Najera.    A  generation  had 
changed  the  players  on  the  stage  of  English  society. 
The  "  goodly  fellowship  of  famous  knights  "  who  met  at 
Windsor  for  the  first  festival  of  King  Edward's  table 
round,    was   all   unsoldered     Sir   John    Chandos,    Sir 
Walter  Manny  and  the  great  captains  of  the  old  days 
had  passed  away,  and  in  their  place  a  generation  had 
arisen  that  knew  not  the  favourite  of  Queen  Phihppa.    A 
sense  of  loneliness  came  over  him  when,  his  "great  longing 
and  affection  "  satisfied,  he  stood  once  more  on  English 

At  length,  however,  he  found  a  friend.  Lancaster's 
councillor,  Sir  Thomas  Percy,  received  him  courteously 
and  promised  to  bring  him  to  the  King  As  Froissart 
rode  along  the  highway  from  Canterbury  to  Ospringe, 
where  the  Wife  of  Bath  had  told  the  joys  of  marriage, 
and  mine  host  with  unfailing  good  humour  had  kept  the 
peace  among  the  strange  company  who  rode  to  Canter 
bury  from  the  Tabard  Inn  in  the  spring  of  the  year,  and 
the  dawn  of  English  poetry,  he  listened  the  while  to 
Sir  William  de  Lisle  fresh  from  Donegal  and  full  of 
tales  of  St  Patrick's  purgatory. 
At  Leeds,  half  way  between  Ospringe  and  Rochester, 



the  chronicler  had  his  desire.  He  was  presented  to  the 
King.  More  potent  talisman  to  conjure  royal  favour 
than  letters  from  the  Count  of  Hainault,  Froissart  had 
brought  with  him  a  book  wherein,  with  the  bright 
illumination,  which  still  delights  the  lover  of  manu 
scripts,  were  written  "  all  the  matters  touching  morality 
and  love  which  for  the  last  four  and  thirty  years  by  the 
favour  of  God  and  of  Love  he  had  indited  and  com 
posed  " 

The  treasured  volume,  with  its  rich  binding  of  crimson 
velvet  studded  with  silver  nails,  was  not  yet  to  be  pre 
sented,  for  weighty  matters  lay  on  the  King's  mind. 

The  ambassadors  sent  to  France  to  demand  the  hand 
of  Isabella,  and  the  Gascon  envoys  were  both  awaiting 

Riding  from  Rochester  through  Dartford  to  Eltham, 
where  the  King's  Council  was  to  meet,  Froissart  learnt  the 
news  of  Aquitame  from  Jean  de  Graily,  bastard  of  the 
great  Captal  de  Buch,  whose  heir  Archambaud  de  Graily 
had  led  the  Gascon  noblesse  in  their  opposition  to  the 
new  Duke  of  Aquitaine. 

At  Eltham  by  good  fortune  Froissart  found  another 
friend,  Sir  Richard  Stury,  now  in  disgrace  for  a  too 
vigorous  support  of  Lollard  doctrine,  and  as  they 
walked  about  the  gardens  of  the  royal  palace  at  Eltham, 
Sir  Richard,  undeterred  by  any  "  Official  Secrets  Act," 
told  Froissart  what  happened  at  the  Council. 

First  the  envoys  from  Bordeaux,  Bayonne  and  Dax 
and  the  Gascon  noblesse  had  been  introduced ;  then  Lan 
caster's  two  knights,  Sir  Peter  Clifton  and  Sir  William 

Then  the  Council,  dismissing  them,  discussed  the  posi 
tion  of  affairs  in  the  Duchy. 

Opinion  was  divided.  Some  sympathized  with  the 
Gascons,  and  some,  with  the  Duke.  But  one  voice 
dominated  the  Council.  The  Duke  of  Gloucester, 



secure  of  power  while  Lancaster  was  absent,  but  reduced 
to  insignificance  with  his  brother's  return,  was  deter 
mined  that  the  Duke  of  Aquitaine  should  be  kept  away 
from  England.  He  stood  on  punctilio  The  King's 
honour  demanded  that  the  grant  should  be  made  good 
and  the  royal  commands  obeyed  The  Earl  of  Derby 
for  different  motives  supported  his  uncle  in  his  father's 

The  agreement  between  the  Duke  of  Aquitaine  and  his 
subjects  was  dtily  recorded  among  the  archives  of  the 
exchequer,  and  the  King  went  on  to  discuss  the  affair 
which  he  had  more  at  heart 

With "  characteristic  impulsiveness  Richard  had  re 
solved  to  marry  the  French  king's  daughter.  The 
marriage  would  definitely  seal  the  policy  of  peace  with 
France.  Though  Gloucester  had  failed  to  prevent  negotia 
tions  he  had  not  failed  to  obstruct,  and  with  the  violent 
and  overbearing  manner  which  made  his  nephew  detest 
his  presence  as  much  as  his  interference,  he  endeavoured 
to  thwart  the  King's  favourite  scheme  Like  all  the 
King's  decisions,  this  last  was  sudden  and  unexpected. 

That  Richard  feared  disaffection  in  Aquitaine  as  a 
result  of  his  uncle's  further  stay  is  unlikely,  for  the  fight 
was  over,  and  the  combatants  were  ready  to  make  peace. 
But  the  King  was  thinking  of  England,  not  of  Aquitaine. 

The  summons  was  inconvenient  but  it  was  obeyed ; 
Lancaster  returned  at  once.  Kmghton,  or  the  pseudo- 
Knight  on,  usually  well  informed  in  all  that  concerns 
the  Duke's  life,  says  that  he  came,  back  through  France. l 
It  is  not  improbable,  though  for  a  few  months  his  move 
ments  cannot  be  traced.  There  would  be  no  difficulty 
about  a  safe-conduct  from  the  French  king,  and  the 
return  through  France  had  been  contemplated  six  years 

1  Kn  11  322  Et  post  Natale  Domini  sequens  dommus 
Johannes  Dux  Lancastnae  rednt  in  Angliam  de  Vasconia  et 
vemt  per  Franciam  Froissart,  K.  de  L  xv.  181,  182,  189. 



before  When  next  the  Duke  can  be  traced  he  is  in 
Brittany,  where  on  November  25  he  made  a  treaty  of 
alliance  with  England's  inconstant  ally,  the  Duke  of 
Brittany1  This  was  something  more  than  a  mere 
treaty  of  friendship  and  alliance,  for  John  of  Gaunt,  an 
inveterate  matchmaker,  after  disposing  of  his  daughters 
and  his  son  in  marriage,  had  bethought  him  of  his 
grandson  Henry,  afterwards  Fifth  of  England  A 
marriage  between  Brittany's  daughter  Mary  and  the 
son  of  Henry,  Earl  of  Derby,  was  to  confirm  the  old 
alliance  of  the  Montforts  with  the  royal  house  of  England. 
But  Montfort  changed  his  mind,  and  in  June  following, 
when  the  wedding  should  have  taken  place,  Mary  of 
Brittany  married  the  Count  d'Alengon  and  "  Prince 
Hal "  found  another  bride 

Lancaster's  abortive  marriage  treaty  was  his  last  act 
before  setting  foot  on  English  soil.  He  had  left  his 
Gascon  fief  behind  him ,  he  was  never  to  see  it  again 
Had  he  remained,  there  would  have  been  little  to  do. 
While  the  peace  held,  as  Lancaster  intended  it  should 
hold,  the  Gascon  frontier  could  not  be  pushed  back 
again  The  Gascon  governmental  system  was  complete 
and  needed  no  interference  What  tact  and  forbearance 
could  do  the  Duke  had  done  Had  he  shown  m  1376  the 
same  astuteness  in  the  face  of  opposition,  our  reading  of 
an  obscure  page  of  English  history  must  have  been 

1  Mr  Williams  in  the  Preface  to  his  edition  of  the  Chromcque 
de  la  Traison  et  Movt  de  Richart  Deux  Roy  d'Engleterre  (London, 
1846),  says  that  this  treaty  of  alliance  was  made  without  any 
reservation  as  to  allegiance  to  Richard  II  (p  xix  ),  and  that  the 
King  was  so  displeased  with  the  conduct  of  the  parties  in  this 
affair  "  either  with  the  Duke  of  Brittany  or  with  the  Duke  of 
Lancaster  or  as  is  most  probable1  with  both,"  that  it  required 
all  the  efforts  of  the  King  of  France  to  reconcile  them  But 
in  the  first  place  reservation  of  allegiance  is  made,  and  that  in 
the  most  express  terms ,  and  m  the  second  place  Richard  con 
firmed  the  treaty  See  the  text  given  m  full  m  Lobmeau's 
Histoive  de  Bretaigrte,  n.  791,  quoting  j^from  the  Chronicle  of 
Nantes.  Cf.  Pierre  Cochon  Chrontque  Normande,  196. 



changed  and  history  might  perhaps  have  registered 
a  different  verdict  on  John  of  Gaunt  The  Duke 
of  Aquitame  returned  to  England  leaving  the  Duchy 
as  he  had  found  it.  If  the  Gascons  had  trembled  for 
their  liberties  and  the  French  for  their  frontiers  they  had 
trembled  at  a  shadow.  The  menace  of  feudal  tyranny 
proved  as  vain  as  the  threat  of  a  war  of  aggression.  His 
short  tenure  of  power  left  no  permanent  results  but 
the  Treaty  of  March  22,  1395. 

Recalled  after  ten  months'  government,  he  left  no 
impress  on  the  province  Once  more,  like  the  "  King 
of  Castile,"  the  "  Duke  of  Guyenne "  had  perforce 
to  content  himself  with  the  semblance  rather  than  the 
reality  of  power:  once  more  history  is  deceived 
by  the  "  boast  of  heraldry  the  pomp  of  power "  A 
century  and  a  half  later  an  ambassador  of  Henry 
VIII  found  the  "  armories  of  the  Duke  of  Lancaster " 
still  entire  in  a  glass  window  in  the  church  of  the  Friars 
Preachers  at  Bordeaux.1  For  history,  the  only  abiding 
traces  of  the  last  Duke  of  Aquitame  are  to  be  found  in 
the  vigorous  protests  of  municipal  independence  written 
on  the  pages  of  the  L^vre  des  Bouillons  and  the  Registre 
des  Jurades,  and  for  the  Duke's  life  the  ten  months' 
rule  has  its  interest  mainly  in  the  great  change  which 
years  and  their  experience  had  wrought  in  the  character 
of  the  man  once  so  "  jealous  of  honour,  sudden  and 
quick  in  quarrel.*' 

1  Speed,  Great  Britain^  618.  For  the  Duke's  acts  after  his 
recall,  see  Liwe  des  Bouillons,  i  214,  251,  255,  256,  268,  and 
Rot  Gasc.  i.  1 80  (i). 


Chapter   XVI 


IF  John  of  Gaunt  expected  his  nephew's  welcome 
to  show  something  of  the  confidence  in  his  support 
which  explained  his  sudden  recall,  he  was  destined  to 
disappointment,  for  Richard's  reception,  though  correct, 
was  not  cordial.  Delay  at  Langley,  therefore,  where  the 
King  was  keeping  Christmas,  proved  irksome  to  the  Duke, 
who  had  sufficient  motives  for  wishing  to  bring  his  visit 
to  an  end, 

A  few  days  after  his  departure  a  startling  piece  of 
news  was  afloat :  gossips  high  and  low  in  Court  and  cottage 
were  telling  one  another  how  the  Duke  on  leaving  the 
court  at  Langley  had  ridden  straight  to  Lincoln,  and  there 
at  the  beginning  of  January  had  married  his  mistress.1 

At  length,  after  more  than  twenty  years52  the  union  of 
John  of  Gaunt  and  Katharine  Swynford  received  the 
sanction  of  the  Church.  Katharine  had  long  been  a 
familiar  figure  at  the  English  Court.  The  daughter  of  a 
Hamaulter  who  came  over  in  the  suite  of  Queen  Philippa, 
Sir  Paon  Roelt,  Guyenne  King  of  Arms,  she  had  been 
attached  in  her  youth  to  the  household  of  Blanche  of 
Lancaster,  a  position  which  she  continued  to  hold  after 
her  marriage  m  1368  to  Sir  Hugh  Swynford,  to  whom 
she  bore  two  children,  Thomas  and  Blanche.  Then,  when 
Philippa  and  Elizabeth  of  Lancaster  were  born,  Katharine 

i  Ann  Ric  II  i88,Wals  u  219,  Mon  Eve,  128     Froissart, 
K  de  L  xv,  238-40 
a  See  note  on  Katharine  Swynford,  Appendix  VI  p.  461. 



became  their  guardian,  and  as  the  elder  of  the  children 
was  only  in  her  ninth  year  when  the  Duchess  Blanche  died, 
the  guardian  found  herself  in  the  position  of  a  foster- 
mother  to  Lancaster's  little  daughters.  If  tradition  can 
be  trusted  Katharine  was  beautiful,  and  the  Duke's 
"  visits  to  the  nursery  "  allowed  an  intimacy  to  ripen 
which  soon  after  the  death  of  his  first  wife,  but  while  Sir 
Hugh  Swynford  still  lived,  resulted  in  the  Duke  becoming 
her  lover  In  1372  Sir  Hugh  died  fighting  in  Aquitame  ; 
henceforth  "  Queen  "  Constance  had  to  bear  a  rival  near 
her  throne,  and  Dame  Katharine  took  her  place  as  the 
Duke's  mistress  en  titre. 

When,  ten  years  later,  she  ceased  to  be  guardian  to  the 
Duke's  daughters,  retiring  from  the  Lancastrian  house 
hold  to  the  estates  in  Lincolnshire  and  Nottingham  given 
her  by  her  lover,  Katharine  was  the  mother  of  four  children, 
John,  Henry,  Thomas,  and  Joan,  surnamed  "Beaufort," 
or,  as  the  wits  of  Richard's  Court  preferred  to  have  it, 
"  Faerborn,"  with  a  ]estmg  allusion  to  the  open  secret  of 
their  birth.1 

In  spite  of  law  social  and  canonical,  the  Beauforts 
took  a  place  with  their  legitimate  half-brother  and 
sisters  in  the  front  rank  of  public  life  ,  the  Lancastrian 
love  of  arms,  and  a  certain  administrative  capacity,  were 
conspicuous  in  the  eldest,  John,  while  Henry,  the  future 
Cardinal  and  Chancellor  of  England,  was  laying  at 
Oxford  the  foundations  of  his  reputation  as  a  jurist  and 
a  scholar.  One  disability  alone  attached  to  their  position, 
the  defect  of  illegitimate  birth,  and  it  was  partly  with  a 
view  to  smoothing  the  way  to  remove  it,  that  in  1396 
John  of  Gaunt,  then  in  his  fifty-sixth  year,  married 
Katharine,  who  was  herself  only  ten  years  younger. 
Negotiations  had  already  been  set  on  foot  at  the  Papal 
Court,  and  in  September  Boniface  IX  issued  a  bull  con- 

1  See  Appendix  VI  (Percy  MS  78)^.463. 



firming  the  Duke's  third  marriage,  and  declaring  the 
offspring  past  and  future  legitimate.1 

When,  therefore,  in  the  following  February,  the  King 
in  Parliament  granted  to  the  Beauforts  letters  patent 
of  legitimation,3  their  position  was  established  so  far  as 
law  ecclesiastical  or  civil  could  establish  it,  and  one  of 
Lancaster's  most  cherished  wishes  was  fulfilled. 

The  third  marriage,  easily  explicable  on  a  calm  examina 
tion  of  the  Duke's  motives,  proved,  however,  a  stumbling- 
block  to  those  who  had  hitherto  regarded  him  as  the  type 
of  unqualified  ambition  No  one  had  expected  that 
John  of  Gaunt,  now  an  old  man  according  to  the  standard 
of  the  age,  would  marry  again :  had  such  a  possibility 
been  forecast  the  quidnuncs  of  the  day  would  certainly 
have  chosen  as  the  third  Duchess  of  Lancaster  an  heiress 
who  would  bring  another  roll  of  lands  and  honours  to 
swell  the  Lancastrian  inheritance.  It  was  natural  that 
some  should  point  the  contrast  between  Blanche,  a 
princess  of  the  blood  royal,  and  Constance  the  "  Queen  " 
of  Castile,  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  gouvernante  of  the 
Duke's  daughters  on  the  other.  It  was  inevitable  that 
others  should  moralize  on  the  liaison  which,  however,  was 
of  a  kind  too  prevalent  to  shock  or  surprise  the  Court 
of  Richard  II  The  Scandalous  Chronicle  has,  it  is  true, 
chosen  to  describe  the  Duke's  mistress  in  offensive 
language ;  but  the  mortal  sm  in  which  Lancaster  lived 
is  too  obviously  his  connexion  not  with  Katharine 
Swynford,  but  with  John  Wychffe,  and  the  best  answer 
to  detractors  who,  like  the  Monk  of  St.  Albans,  attempted 
to  class  Kathanne  with  adventuresses  like  Alice  Ferrers, 
is  furnished  by  his  new  Duchess  of  Lancaster  herself. 

1  Dated  Rome,  Kal  Sept.  1396  (7  Bomface  IX),  Papal 
Letters,  iv.  545. 

a  Dated Feb, 9, 1397, Rot.Parl  111  343.  Foed,VIl  849-50.  Rot. 
Pat  213,  ch  6  (Carte)  Cf  Ann  R^c  II  195  •  Wals  11  222.  The 
interpolation  excepta  digmtate  vegah  was  made  by  Henry  IV 
when  he  had  begun  to  be  jealous  of  his  haft-brothers. 



Froissart,  a  witness  by  no  means  indifferent  to  questions 
of  rank  and  precedence,  only  states  the  fact  when  he 
describes  her  as  une  dame  qui  $$avoit  moult  de  toutes 
honneurs ;  and  when  placed  in  the  first  position  of  English 
society  Katharine  behaved  with  a  quiet  diginity  which 
silenced  comment,  and  forced  the  high-born  dames  who 
had  expressed  horror  at  the  mesalliance  to  reconcile 
themselves  to  the  idea  of  yielding  precedence  to  the 
daughter  of  a  plain  Hamault  knight. 

The  legitimation  of  the  Beauforts,  however,  though 
the  most  obvious,  is  by  no  means  the  only  proof  of  the 
King's  anxiety  to  conciliate  the  man  whose  influence  was 
still  so  important  a  factor  in  the  balance  of  party  power. 
Signs  of  the  same  disposition  recur  constantly  from  the 
Duke's  return  until  his  death. 

The  circumstances  under  which,  in  1398,  the  venerable 
Bishop  of  Lincoln  was  turned  out  of  his  see  to  make  room 
for  Henry  Beaufort,  then  a  mere  boy,  amounted  to  a 
grave  scandal,  but  the  episode  proved  that,  if  Boniface  IX 
was  ready  to  gratify  a  faithful  son  of  the  Church,  Rich 
ard  II  was  equally  willing  to  reward  a  staunch  supporter 
of  the  Crown,  by  sanctioning  the  bull  of  provision  which 
raised  the  third  son  of  Katharine  Swynford  to  the  ranks 
of  the  Lords  Spiritual.1  With  less  questionable  justice, 
but  with  equally  transparent  intention,  Richard  appointed 
John  Beaufort,  now  Earl  of  Somerset,  to  the  office  of 
Admiral a  in  1397,  while  with  the  same  object,  in  1398, 
he  confirmed  and  enlarged  for  John  of  Gaunt  and  his 
heirs  male  in  perpetuity  the  powers  which  since  the  days 
of  Edward  III  the  Duke  had  held  as  Constable  and 
Steward  of  the  royal  Palatinate— now  Principality — of 

1  Ob  Ducis  reverentiam  et  honorem  Ann  Ric  II  226-7. 
\Vals  ii  228 

a  Rot  Part  111.  343,  368 

3  Letters  Patent  dated  Holt  Castle,  August  8,  1398  Record 
Report,  xxxi  App  p.  41  Cf  Record  Report,  xxix  App  p  49  , 



From  any  explanation  of  these  marks  of  royal  favour 
one  motive  at  least  must  be  excluded.  Richard  had  no 
sort  of  affection  for  the  man  at  whose  attempted  assassina 
tion  he  had  connived  in  1384,  and  whose  last  trust  he 
betrayed  in  1399  ;  he  was  willing,  however,  to  pay  the 
price,  not  an  extravagant  one,  for  the  support  of  the 
Lancastrian  party, 

Sir  John  Fortescue,  discoursing  on  "  the  perils  that 
may  come  to  the  King  by  over  mighty  subjects,"  writes  : 
"  Certainly  there  may  be  no  greater  peril  grow  to  a 
pnnce  than  to  have  a  subject  equipollent  to  himself,  .  .  . 
and  it  may  not  be  eschewed  but  that  the  great  lords  of 
the  land  by  reason  of  new  descents  falling  unto  them,  by 
reason  also  of  marriages,  purchases,  and  other  titles,  shall 
oftentimes  grow  up  to  be  greater  than  they  are  now, 
and  peradventure  some  of  them  to  be  of  livelihood  and 
power  like  a  King,  which  shall  be  right  good  for  the  land 
while  they  aspire  to  none  higher  estate,"1 

And  when  the  great  Lancastrian  junst,  who  finds 
everything  for  the  best  in  the  history  of  the  best  of  all 
possible  dynasties,  proceeds  to  add  "  For  such  was  the 
Duke  of  Lancaster  that  warred  the  King  of  Spam  one 
of  the  mightiest  Kings  of  Christendom  in  his  own  realm  " 
— the  opinion  was  one  in  which  Richard  II,  with  certain 
qualifications,  might  now  have  acquiesced. 

Whether  he  would  have  classed  the  heir  of  Lancaster 
also  with  those  who  "  aspire  to  none  higher  estate  "  is 
another  question,  but  to  one  man  assuredly  the  words 
could  not  apply — Thomas  of  Woodstock,  Duke  of  Glou 
cester  and  Constable  of  England 

Time,  instead  of  abating  the  King's  resentment  against 

appointment  by  the  Duke  of  Sir  T,  Sothe\vorth  as  his  deputy, 
dated  August  5,  1377,  and  also  Record  Report,  xxxvi  App  (Re 
cognizance  Rolls  of  Chester ) 

1  The  Governance  of  England,  p  130  Ed  C  Plummer, 
Oxford,  1885 



the  authors  of  the  commission  of  government,  had 
accentuated  his  hatred,  and  during  recent  years  Gloucester 
by  his  opposition  to  the  King's  French  policy  had  added  a 
count  to  the  indictment  already  severe  enough.  Therefore 
Richard  found  it  convenient  to  humour  his  uncle  of 
Lancaster  until  he  had  avenged  himself  on  his  uncle  of 
Gloucester  ,  then,  perhaps,  tune  would  help  him  to  rid 
himself  of  his  cousin  of  Derby. 

^  The  result  was  that  John  of  Gaunt,  in  1396-99,  found 
himself  once  more,  as  in  1382-6,  in  a  middle  position. 
If  he  had  failed  to  learn  any  sympathy  for  the  constitu 
tional  party,  and  had  not  drawn  any  closer  to  the  opposi 
tion,  he  was  still  as  widely  divided  as  ever  from  the  real 
Court  party  ;  he  stood  opposed  to  the  King's  upstart 
favourities,  Bussy,  Bagot,  and  Grene,  in  the  nineties,  as 
he  had  stood  opposed  to  Robert  de  Vere,  who  had  steered 
the  King's  party  to  shipwreck  in  the  eighties,  for  while 
prepared  to  go  a  long  way  in  supporting  his  nephew,  the 
Duke  would  not  go  the  whole  course, 

The  first  step,  indeed,  was  easy  and  agreeable.  All 
the  preliminaries  had  now  been  concluded  for  the  mar 
riage  of  Richard  II  and  Isabella  of  France,  and  with 
feelings  of  unmixed  satisfaction  Lancaster  left  England, 
in  October,  1396,  to  arrange  the  formalities  of  that 
meeting  l  between  the  two  Kings  which  was  to  inaugurate 
a  new  period  of  peace,  and  unite  the  Houses  of  Valois 
and  Plantagenet  by  the  bonds  of  a  blood  alliance. 

According  to  a  doubtful  though  possible  tradition 
reported  by  Froissart,2  the  Duke,  fourteen  years  earlier, 
had  proposed  the  hand  of  Philippa  for  his  nephew  ; 
fortune,  however,  had  ruled  that  the  name  of  the  eldest 
daughter  of  Lancaster  should  be  associated  with  the 
brilliant  sunrise  of  the  new  Portuguese  dynasty  rather 

1  Mon  Eve,  128-9  ,f?£/»g  S*  Denys,  u  450-475. 
1  Froissart,  K,  de  L  ix  212 



than  the  fast  fading  light  of  the  Plantagenets  So  far  as 
could  be  forecast  in  1396,  no  alliance  could  have  been 
better  fitted  than  that  now  proposed  to  secure  an  effective 
result  for  the  Lancastrian  policy. 

There  was,  indeed,  every  excuse  for  believing  in  the 
definite  and  permanent  triumph  of  that  policy,  as  ex 
pressed  in  the  Articles  of  the  twenty-eight  years'  truce, 
when  at  the  end  of  October  John  of  Gaunt,  after  finding 
himself  the  honoured  guest  of  Charles  VI,  and  watching 
the  new  Duchess  of  Lancaster  do  the  honours  of  England 
to  the  French  Court,  accompanied  the  two  Kings  on 
Friday,  October  26,  from  their  meeting-place  between 
Gumes  andArdres  to  a  spot  not  fifty  miles  from  Cr£cy, 
or  thirty  from  Agincourt,  where  they  vowed  to  build 
conjointly  a  chapel  to  "  Our  Lady  of  Peace,"  and  when 
in  the  evening  of  the  same  day  he  saw  Richard  receive 
Isabella  from  the  hands  of  her  father,  thanking  him  for 
"  so  gracious  and  honourable  a  gift  "  ;  when,  too,  in  the 
Church  of  St.  Nicholas  at  Calais,  on  Saturday,  Novem 
ber  4,  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  married  the  King  of 
England  to  the  daughter  of  his  hereditary  adversary, 
the  war  party  appeared  to  have  no  alternative  but  to 
acquiesce  in  complete  political  defeat,  and  the  Duke 
might  view  with  legitimate  satisfaction  the  results  of  his 
diplomacy  upon  the  Great  Powers,  Portugal,  Castile, 
France,  and  England,  their  differences  laid  aside,  and 
their  dynasties  united  by  common  kinship  with  the 
House  of  Lancaster 

Yet,  in  fact,  nothing  could  be  more  illusory  than  the 
hopes  built  upon  the  French  marriage  It  failed  to 
perpetuate  peace  between  the  two  countnes ,  it  failed 
inevitably  to  settle  the  question  of  the  succession ;  and 
in  relation  to  home  affairs,  it  served  not  to  inaugurate 
a  golden  age  of  peace,  but  to  mark  the  beginning  of  a  fatal 
period  of  disorder  and  misgovernment. 

The  few  short  years  of  the  King's  constitutional  rule 








lay  behind :  before  him  the  attempt  at  absolutism  and 
its  disastrous  failure. 

Perhaps,  as  has  been  suggested,  the  extravagant  pomp 
and  meaningless  ceremonial  with  which  Charles  VI  sur 
rounded  himself  may  have  inspired  Richard  with  the 
hope  of  transplanting  to  English  soil  the  growth  of 
continental  despotism ;  if  so,  the  example  was  no  less 
lamentable  than  its  imitation  was  calamitous.  It  was 
always  easy  to  flatter  the  King's  vanity,  and  now  his 
ambition  was  excited  by  the  prospect  of  succeeding 
Wenceslaus  of  Bohemia  on  the  Impenal  throne.  Every 
thing  conspired  to  bring  upon  him  "  judicial  blindness," 
the  pride  which  goes  before  destruction,  Reckless 
extravagance  involved  him  in  debt,  and  to  meet  debt 
his  only  expedient  was  to  levy  oppressive  and  iniquitous 
forced  loans,  unsound  finance  proving,  as  usual,  a  precipi 
tating  cause  of  revolution.  The  King,  too,  forgetting 
the  lesson  which  the  moral  Gower  would  teach,  that  the 
only  security  of  princes  lies  in  the  affection  of  their 
subjects,  chose  to  surround  himself  with  a  bodyguard  of 
Cheshire  archers,  and  the  royal  progresses  were  followed 
by  the  curses  of  the  people  oppressed  and  pillaged  by 
these  lawless  pretonans. 

The  causes  of  discontent  were  various,  nor  was  it 
difficult  for  the  Duke  of  Gloucester  to  exploit  them  to 
their  full  political  value,  Brest  and  Cherbourg  were  to  be 
restored  to  Brittany  and  Navarre,  the  logical  corollary 
of  the  peace ;  but  what  more  easy  than  to  represent  such 
restoration  as  a  treason  to  England,  the  folly  of  a  spend 
thrift  King  squandering  a  royal  patrimony ?  The  Duke 
of  Lancaster  was  reported  to  have  said  that  "  Calais 
grieved  more  England  and  did  more  hurt  thereto  than 
profit  for  the  great  expenses  about  the  keeping  thereof." l 
Let  the  Duke,  therefore,  as  the  King's  chief  adviser  and 

1  An  Enghsh  Chronicle,  1377-1461,  p  7  (Ed  J  S  Davies, 
CamdenSoc.  1856) 



the  exponent  of  this  glorious  peace  policy,  explain  to 
the  faithful  citizens  of  London  why  war  taxation  was  to  be 
continued  in  peace.  The  Duke  attempted  to  do  so,  pro 
bably  with  less  success  than  Froissart  would  have  us 

In  the  summer  of  1397   the  crisis   came,     Richard 

believed  that  he  had  discovered  a  treasonable  plot  in 

which  the  leaders  were  the  Duke  of  Gloucester,  the  Earls 

of  Arundel  and  Warwick,  and  the  Abbot  of  Westminster  2 , 

he  believed,  too,  that  the  time  was  ripe  for  levenge,  and 

with  the  cunning  natural  to  the  weakling  and  the  craven, 

the  King  caressed  with  the  hand  that  was  ready  to  strike. 

Arundel,  whose  brother  had  just  been  raised  to  the 

primacy,  Warwick,  and  Gloucester  were  invited  to  a  royal 

banquet.    Warwick  complied  and  found  himself  arrested  , 

Arundel  hesitated  to  place  himself  in  the  King's  power, 

but,  relying  on  a  treacherous  promise  of  safety,  surrendered; 

but  Gloucester,  urging  the  plea  of  ill  health,  a  plea  which 

was  soon  to  prove  invaluable  to  the  King's  designs, 

refused,  and  the  most  dangerous  of  the  King's  enemies 

was  still  at  large     The  situation  required  prompt  and 

cautious  action,  and  Richard  showed  himself  able  to 

deal  with  it.    Of  late  the  Dukes  of  Lancaster  and  York 

had  taken  no  active  part  m  affairs     Lancaster,  it  is  true, 

could  be  counted  upon  to  support  the  King  against  the 

party  of  Arundel,  just  as  m  the  Haxey  Case  he  had  shown 

himself  ready  to  act  as  the  spokesman  of  the  prerogative 

cause  against  Parliamentary  criticism  3    He  was  aware, 

too,  of  Gloucester's  attitude,  and  was  opposed  to  his 

whole  policy,  but  declined  to  regard  it  as  a  serious  menace 

to  the  peace  of  the  realm     But  the  Duke  would  certainly 

discriminate  between  Gloucester  and  Arundel :  he  might 

1  Froissart,  K  deL  xvi  9-12, 

3  Froissart,  xvi  1-29  ,  71-79     Ann  R^c  II ',  201-2     Wals  u 
223-6     Eulog  371-6     Mon,  Eve,  129-30 
3  Rot  Parl  m  3390 



acquiesce  in  a  condemnation  of  his  old  political  enemy ;